Chitambo District Health Office has been hit by a shortage of fuel for emergency referrals.

In a letter dated March 3, 2019 and addressed to the District Commissioner. Chitambo District Health Officer Dr Knoziack Chisenga stated that the office had completely run out of fuel, and that the credit facility, which enabled his Department to get the commodity for emergency referrals was no longer being honoured.

He stated that the last time the District Health Office was funded was in September, 2018 and he feared that patients’ lives might be endangered.

“I wish to inform your able office that the District Health Office has completely run out of fuel and the credit facility, which enabled us to get fuel from the gas station from time to time for emergency referrals, is no longer being honoured. We are concerned for the well-being of the patients in the clinics and we fear that lives may be lost. In this regard, we wish to kindly inform your able office and request for any support that might be available. You might also wish to know that we have not been funded since September, 2018,” wrote Dr Chisenga.

But when contacted, Central Province Health Director Dr Charles Msiska wondered why Dr Chisenga had rushed to write to the DC before discussing the matter with his office first.

He said, however, that the matter had been addressed.

“All the districts have ambulances running with fuel and even at times when there are challenges, we normally support them as Provincial Health Office/Ministry of Health. So, I think our colleague didn’t consult as he was making that comment. But otherwise, we have discussed with our colleagues and we are actually meeting him later on to find out if there are any other problems that he is having there. But otherwise, all the districts have fuel to run their services. We had a chat before even all that and we addressed it as Provincial Health Office and we are going to meet him to understand why it was written before any discussions we made, because we have actually supported them,” said Dr Msiska.