THE Zambia Medical Association (ZMA) has called for the immediate arrest of the medical officers who are allegedly selling blood to desperate patients at Levy Mwanawasa Hospital in Lusaka.
ZMA president Aaron Mujajati said it was criminal for medical staff to take advantage of desperate patients and rob them of their money by selling blood which was supposed to be given free of charge.
Dr Mujajati said the act should be condemned by all Zambians and those involved in the scandal should be arrested so that they could account for their actions.
He told the Daily Nation in an interview yesterday that it was criminal for any officer at Levy Mwanawasa Hospital to sell blood that Government had acquired from donors at the expense of tax- payers when blood was supposed to be given to patients free of any charge.
“It is a criminal act and theft, this commodity is acquired by Government at the expense of tax-payers and donors. Surely to collect money from patients who are desperate is criminal and immoral. The perpetrators must be arrested and prosecuted,’’ Dr Mujajati said.
Dr Mujajati said his association received the news with shock and sadness and stressed that there was need to change the culture of blood donation and stop relying on schoolchildren, adding that it was time to sensitise the general public on the need to donate blood and keep the stocks high.
“The association received this information with shock and sadness. There is need to educate the general public on the need to donate blood and keep the stocks high. The stocks for blood must be guaranteed. We must shift from the culture of depending on schools for blood,’’ he said.
The Daily Nation yesterday exposed a scandal involving officers at Levy Mwanawasa Hospital where blood was being sold to desperate patients. “
Relatives of a patient who has since died were made to pay K400 for two units of blood. Medical Superintendent Dr John Kachimba has instituted investigations into the matter, describing it as unfortunate, adding that it was immoral for anyone at the institution to take advantage of a desperate situation.
The hospital superintendent said punitive action would be taken against any staff indulging in such activities.