HEALTH Minister Sylvia Masebo has revealed that the management at Matero Level One hospital has been changed in order to improve the situation at the facility, adding that the Ministry will not wait for Miles Sampa to expose dirt in other hospitals.

And Lusaka provincial health director Dr Consity Mwale says the current medical superintendent, hospital administrator and the head of pharmacy have been transferred to other health facilities.

On Saturday, Matero PF member of parliament Miles Sampa visited Matero level one hospital where he exposed the poor sanitation at the health facility, among other issues.

Speaking during a media briefing, Monday, Masebo said there was need to start cracking the whip because there were too many games being played in most health facilities.

“Allow me to acknowledge the concerns of our people who access health care at Matero General Hospital. My technical team has been on the ground and I wish to report that we have taken measures to improve the situation including change in management. To resolve the commodity supplies issue, we have adequate supplies of essential drugs. However, to manage the gap on other commodities such as needles and syringes, we have procured medical and surgical supplies worth K250,000. To ensure good practice and transparency, management is following the policy on procurement with regards to value for money, quality and timely delivery of procured commodities. You do not expect the Minister to be checking toilets every day in health facilities. This time you are being transferred and next time there will be no transfer. You will just lose your jobs. There is too much playing of games in most of these health facilities. People are not working,” she said.

“You are telling me that Miles Sampa went to Matero hospital without authority? That might be true but I think that should not even be the point. The point is that we are allowing dirtiness in facilities yet we have people getting paid. So rather than shooting the whistleblower, can we concentrate on ensuring that we up our game as a Ministry. People’s expectations are high so we must do our part even before we are told by people. Clearly, we are not doing enough. The problem we have is purely a management problem. It is not even a matter of physical challenges because you have money. If government has doubled your allocation and is releasing money timely, there is no excuse apart from incompetence and mismanagement. So let us start cracking the whip for those of you that are in charge at provincial and district level.”

Masebo said it would take a bit of time to change people’s mindsets.

She revealed that a cumulative total of 7 cholera cases had been confirmed as at yesterday.

“I can just apologize to the public and assure that we are doing everything possible to make things work. We are coming from a system in the past where civil servants were only concerned about making money. To change people’s mindsets will take a bit of time and we are doing everything possible. Let us not wait for Miles Sampa to go to another one for us to work. I will not accept that and we can do better. This is a call to our people. Let us take health messages seriously. We have an outbreak of cholera and we have a challenge of COVID-19. We have a challenge of polio. All those are very dangerous diseases that kill. We are losing a lot of people in the country. Let us avoid being dirty people. Cholera represents dirtiness. It is not even a good disease. It is an embarrassment so take the necessary precautions,” said Masebo.

“Lusaka Province through Lusaka and Chilanga Districts has been conducting oral cholera vaccination campaigns after confirming cases in Chilanga’s Middle West and a number of compounds in Lusaka District. A total of 4,328 people in Lusaka and 4,769 in the Chilanga hotspots have received vaccine doses in the last 5 days. There are no cholera suspected cases reported in the last 24 hours. As of 06:00hrs today, a cumulative total of 7 cases have been confirmed and 4 probable cases pending confirmation.”

Meanwhile, Dr Mwale said the current medical superintendent, hospital administrator and the head of pharmacy had been transferred to other health facilities.

“With regards to what happened in Matero, it is regrettable and we have worked with the team at central, provincial and district level to ensure that we strengthen the local management of the hospital. So we have since transferred out the current medical superintendent, the hospital administrator and the head of pharmacy. We hope these measures will strengthen the local management team in the area of ongoing technical support, supervision and mentorship of the whole team at the hospital,” said Dr Mwale.

“We have further engaged and encouraged the team to ensure that all committees that help us to manage hospitals are reenergised and activated so that they help us manage the institutions effectively. These committees include among others infection prevention committee. These are established committees in our hospitals that respond to issues of hygiene and protection of patients and staff against infection. In the area of hygiene, we are talking about hygiene within hospitals, outside and inside. So it is regrettable with what happened and we promise our people that we will manage our facilities better and that will not happen.”