By Derrick Sinjela and Ashton Kelly Bunda
LIONS Aid Zambia (LIAZ) Board Chairperson Dr. Hastings Eli Chiti has described construction project of health centre at Chamulimba in Rufunsa district as a milestone towards improving the health and productivity of the rural community.
On her part, Rufunsa District Commissioner (DC) Mrs. Judith Chama praised Lions Aid Zambia for supplementing government efforts in responding to one of the needs of the people – access to health services.
Lions Clubs International District 413 – District Governor Dr Peter Mangani, noted that LIAZ, as a development agency, continues enhancing a cause to serve humanity, especially the needy. Through a countrywide volunteer network.
During a Thursday 10th June, 2021 Health Centre construction Ground Breaking Ceremony at Chamulimba in Rufunsa District, Lion graced by DC Mrs. Chama, District Health Director – Dr. Angel Mubanga, and Dr. Mangani, an elated Lion Chiti viewed construction of the Health Post in Rufunsa district as a milestone towards improving the health and productivity of the people of Chamulimba.
LIAZ Executive Director, Mr. Nicholas Mutale, Village Headpersons, Health Practitioners and Chamulimba Community members witnessed Lions Aid Zambia commence construction of a health centre at Chamulimba in Rufunsa district.
Offering gratitude to the Lions Club of Kapila ward over a complete a mothers’ shelter, with the first phase, comprising one (1) staff house, a health post, an incinerator and four (4) ventilated toilets is made possible with support from Vare Jul-Norway at the cost of K1,250, 000.
“This gathering marks an important milestone towards improving the health and productivity of the people of Chamulimba,” noted Lion Chiti, as he explained that Lions Aid Zambia is a development agency of the Lions Club International District 413 Zambia that supports interventions to eradicate visual impairment by combating eye diseases, creating infrastructure to improve eye care delivery, increasing the number of trained eye care professionals and making vision care more equitable and sustainable.
Additionally, Dr. Chiti reiterated that Lions Aid Zambia undertakes non-eye care projects such as construction of a health centre Chamulimba in Rufunsa district, in order to respond to issues that affect vulnerable communities.
Dr. Chiti Reiterated Lions Aid Zambia being aware that Zambia’s development is guided by sector strategic plans, the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), Vision 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Lions Aid Zambia supports interventions that aim to work towards the actualization of these national and international policies. Having heard about the challenges regarding access to health such as long distance to the nearest health posts, LIAZ embarked on plans to construct the health centre to ease the burden faced by Chamulimba have been facing. As you may be aware, long distance to health centers generates apathy towards seeking health services, a situation that leads to avoidable death in some cases as ailments that can easily be treated tend to get worse. It is, therefore, believed that once this project is completed, there will be increased demand for health services thereby improving the health of people, especially child and maternal health,” stated an optimistic Dr. Chiti.
Dr. Chiti implored the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary (PS) for Technical Services Dr. Kennedy Malama and PS for Administration Mr. Emmanuel Ngulube, through the Rufunsa District Health Office (DHO), to deploy staff and necessary the equipment to the health facility once completed.
The LIAZ Board Chairperson commended the Chamulimba community for being persistent in demanding for a health facility, a characteristic s showing that community members appreciate a right to health.
And Mrs. Chama expressed delight that the LIAZ initiative is a true reflection of enhancing Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s) in the health sector, noting that Lions Aid Zambia is ‘walking the talk’ by through construction of Chamulimba Health Centre.
Making reference to Zambia’s disease burden characterized by the high prevalence and impact of preventable and treatable communicable diseases; malaria, HIV and AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and TB, Mrs Chama grieved at a growing encumbrance of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD); mental health problems, cancer diseases, diabetes, hypertension, blindness and eye refractive defects to name but six.
“Government has prioritized health as a key economic investment to spur the country to become a prosperous, middle-income country by 2030 as stipulated in its Vision 2030, and such an ideal begins with transforming our country into a nation of healthy and productive people,” argued a delighted Mrs. Chama, stressing that a health centre, a staff house, an incinerator and VIP toilets is expected to be completed in the next three months.
My message to Chamulimba community members is that this is not a Lions Aid Zambia project. It is your facility and therefore, your ultimate responsibility is to ensure that you secure this place and guard and protect the building materials from thieves as vandals. Let us all act as watchmen and women because we shall be the beneficiaries of the health services in a few months’ time.
Mrs. Chama is prodding a diversity of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working in the health sector to emulate the LIAZ gesture.
Reiterating Lions Clubs in District 413 role in development, Dr. Mangani cited improving lives of people in vulnerable communities in sight preservation, medical checks, health provision, literacy and education, environmental preservation and improvement, disaster relief, clothing and nutrition to name but 10.
“With improved health as a result of the provision of health services through the health facility, it is expected that Chamulimba community members will become more productive, improve standards of living, and bringing health services as close to the families as is possible. It is my hope that the people of Chamulimba will embrace this project as their own and enhance safety at the project site,” prayed Dr Mangani.