THERE is no doubt that the illegal sale of blood by some members of staff at Levy Mwanawasa Hospital to patients in need is not an isolated case.
This could be happening in many other Government hospitals by members of staff whose prime motive is to make quick money away from their normal monthly salaries.
This is possibly happening in all the provinces of Zambia where blood transfusion is undertaken.
There surely must be one or two members of staff in the blood banks who have mastered the art of stealing from the employer.
We say this because some of the people who have trained to administer health care are not committed to duty.
They are the get-rich-quick type of employees who would leave the health care profession if offered a higher paying job in which their qualifications are barely needed.
This is the reason why we welcome Government’s decision to probe the illegal selling of blood at Levy Mwanawasa Hospital in Lusaka.
Minister of Health Dr Joseph Kasonde has committed Government to a thorough probe of the happenings at Levy Mwanawasa Hospital.
We know the probe might not achieve its intended objective but it will go a long way in putting in place measures which can guarantee genuine accountability.
The probe can also drive fear in unscrupulous health workers who perhaps may resolve to start conducting themselves in line with health regulations.
Others who would benefit from such an exercise are members of the public who sometimes pay for services which are most of the times free simply because they lack the basic information on blood administration and other services in Government health institutions.
The ignorance and lack of understanding of blood administration has had fatal consequences as the case was at Levy Mwanawasa Hospital.
It is heartless and callous, indeed pure evil for a person entrusted with the duty to dispense blood to needy patients, according to doctors instructions, to then create illegal avenues to profit from the desperation of the infirm.
Sometimes members of public are knowledgeable but are pushed into desperate situations which force them to pay for services which are otherwise free.
This should come to an end and it can end if rules were openly available to all, the health personnel and members of the public.
We are therefore appealing to the minister to walk the talk so that the illegal acts in blood banks and the entire health sector are rooted out of the system.
This should involve the disciplining, even by way of dismissal of the staff who will be found guilty of misconduct.
Although such illegal acts are difficult to properly investigate and culprits taken to book because of cartels, there are always good people in each system who give leads to the obtaining situation.
Even as we call on Government to improve the delivery of health services, we equally call on all health workers and associated staff to be guided by their moral consciences in dealing with human suffering.
To prey on the obvious pain and stress of having a loved one sick and needy, speaks volumes about our diminishing moral insensitivity and cultural values.
Poverty is not an excuse to exploit the sick and indeed to watch them die. It is a shame and a blight on collective conscience as a nation.