THE Vice-President, Mutale Nalumango, has been duped again. Yes, duped into believing lies of the availability of medicines and other medical supplies in hospitals.
Last time she was duped, by the Ministry of Health yet again, to announce to Parliament that the FTM Holdings US$100million contract had been cancelled.
Both President Hakainde Hichilema and Vice-President must be very careful with political information emanating from the Ministry of Health which deals with lives.
That she could dispute the crisis facing health institutions is baffling to say the least
Just two days before Parliament adjourned sin die, a parliamentary committee appointed by Speaker of the National Assembly, Nelli Mutti revealed glaring shortages of medicines and medical supplies in hospitals throughout the country. It defies logic to suggest that hospitals have been restocked in the last one week.
Perhaps the only explanation for the gaffe could be attributed for her absence from the country, as result, she was not privy to the statement by the Medical Association of Zambia (MAZ) which asked Government to declare the crisis a national emergency.
Ms Nalumango should know that such statement are injurious to government because members of the public, who are daily subjected to prescriptions, take offense at being told such blatant lies.
The Vice-President reportedly told journalists when she visited the University Teaching Hospital’s Mother and Child section that while some challenges existed, the drug situation in the country had been blown out of proposition and was being politicized.
“Yes, we have had challenges here and there, but I think it has been put out of context, it has been exaggerated, and it has become a political debate. It shouldn’t be so. Life must be treated with care. I was saying when you carry a negative narrative you discourage people from going to health facilities,” Ms Nalumango said.
It is very important that the President and Vice-President should be very careful of the political statement emanating from the Ministry of Health.
For example; the suggestion that Zambia has reached Covid -19 herd immunity with 70 pc vaccination is patently untrue. It is a political statement, because no single African country has reached that level yet. There is no reason to suggest that Zambia is unique.
The resurgence of Covid-19 calls for caution because such careless statements can lead to complacency that could be responsible for the rise in deaths as more people throw caution to the wind and they will no longer bother to mask up, wash hands or observe any of the covid-19 prevention measures because they have been made to believe that the disease has finished.
Yet this is far from the truth. The menace associated with the covid-19 pandemic is still with us and its resurgence should be feared.
Government should not bury its head in the proverbial sand while covid-19 consumes more lives.
“My people perish for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6)” as never been truer.
Let the truth lead.