GOVERNMNET should consider building another clinic in Ngabwe district because health service delivery in the area is still a nightmare as there is only one health post to cater for over 15,000 people, Ngabwe councillor Bolden Kalebuka has appealed.
And Mr. Kalebuka said the poor road network in Ngabwe had stalled development projects in the area as most of them became impassable during the rainy season thereby paralysing movement of goods and services.
He said there was need for government to consider building a new clinic in the area as one of the 650 clinics it had embarked on building across the country in order to ease the health challenges that people in Ngabwe were facing.
Mr Kalebuka said most expectant mothers in the district were opting to deliver at home as opposed to the health post because of the unbearable distances they were subjected to due to unavailability of clinics within their catchment areas.
He said that as a result of failure by most women to access antenatal services due to long distances they are subjected to cover, the lives of expectant mothers and their unborn babies were at risk especially during times of complications.
“We know that government is to build 650 clinics across the country but we have never been notified if Ngabwe will be one of the beneficiaries of these facilities and that is why I am appealing to government to consider building at least one clinic here.
“We only have one clinic to serve over 15,000 people in this area and you know that this has a huge impact on accessibility and provision of health care because most people cannot manage to move from far-flung areas to the clinic. The situation is even worse for pregnant women who are supposed to seek antenatal care from time to time and this has forced most of them to be delivering from homes,” Mr. Kalebuka said.
He called on the Ministry of Health to consider health care services as a matter of urgency in Ngabwe as all the referral centres close to the area were across the Kafue River which is only serviced by a small pontoon.
“In situations where there is a complication that the clinic cannot handle, the only close referral centres are Kabwe hospital or Kapiri-Mposhi, which are about 50-100 kilometres away,” Mr Kalebuka said.
And Mr. Kalebuka said the road network in Ngabwe, especially the western side across the Kafue River was an eyesore which needed urgent attention.
He said the stretch had never been worked on since independence, making it impossible for vehicles to move during the rainy season.
“The road network is simply bad and this has stalled development in this area.
That pontoon on Kafue River is too small for heavy equipment to be ferried to the other side and that compounds the problem even further.
That is why the first step to addressing the road network is building a bridge across the river so that heavy duty earth moving machines can be taken there to work on our roads,” he said.