THE ongoing load-shedding which the country is grappling with has not spared health facilities in Lusaka, prompting the district medical office to write to Zesco to consider exempting such institutions from power cuts.
Lusaka District Medical Officer (DMO) Gideon Zulu told the Sunday Times in an interview on Friday that he had written a letter to Zesco to spare Chawama, Matero, Chipata, Kanyama and Chilenje health centres from load-shedding as using generators was costly.
“This is why we are advocating that Zesco should consider exempting us from the load-shedding because it is really affecting us. When they (Zesco) load shed, they don’t consider that this is a hospital, this is a clinic and they just consider us like any other neighbourhood.
“It has become a very big expense on the part of the district buying fuel for the generators but also the constant breakdown of the generators is causing a big problem. We have written to Zesco so we are just waiting for a response from them,” he said.
Dr Zulu said currently, the generator at Chawama Health Centre had broken down for one week owing to overuse and had since engaged a contractor to repair it at about K20, 000.
Dr Zulu said two units at the Chawama Health Centre’s mortuary had broken down and were yet to be repaired but that did not affect the operations much as the health facility did not record many deaths.
He said the five health centres used solar-powered lamps if the generators were not operational.
Zesco has been conducting scheduled load-shedding owing to reduced water levels in Kariba Dam.
Patriotic Front Chawama Member of Parliament Lawrence Sichalwe said in a separate interview that he was not aware about the mortuary problems but that Dr Zulu had informed him about the defective generator at Chawama Health Centre.
“What I know is that the generator set has been a problem and I pushed for its repair but it was up and running the other week and it is down again because of the cylinder head gasket.
Losing United Party for National Development Chawama Constituency parliamentary by-election candidate Charles Kaselwa said in an earlier interview that he was appalled to learn about the problems at the Chawama Health Centre mortuary.
Times of Zambia