Saturday, May 17, 2008

Caregivers need support, says Maureen

Caregivers need support, says Maureen
By Masuzyo Chakwe
Saturday May 17, 2008 [04:00]

CAREGIVERS play a major role in cushioning the shortage of manpower in health centres, first lady Maureen Mwanawasa has said. Speaking after she toured the renovated male ward C12, the female and maternity wards and the mothers shelter at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) yesterday, Maureen said caregivers needed support as they were always on the bedside of their loved ones.

“We want to cushion the mothers’ stay while in the mothers shelter. We want to make it habitable so that they can be able to cook on their own,” she said.

Maureen, who also presented a donation of building materials from the Minister’s Spouses Club to the hospital for the mothers shelter, observed that there was an improvement at the hospital.

She said many people thought UTH was a death trap and yet there were so many things happening.

“UTH is very paramount and important to all of us. Whether you are Zambian or not, all of us need UTH. Even before you are evacuated out of the country and stabilised, you need UTH. UTH is ours and we must ensure we do everything possible to ensure that things go well,” she said.

Maureen also said there was need for a fathers shelter as it was not strange to find men looking after their wives in the hospital.

“The donation comes a day after we were celebrating the International Day of the Family. Men sleep at bus stations and in the casualty ward and if there is a shelter, we will move a mile ahead and there will be no excuse of nowhere to sleep for men,” she said.

She also said the Maureen Mwanawasa Community Initiative (MMCI) would soon launch a modern maternity wing and mother’s shelter in Kapiri Mposhi.

And UTH managing director Dr Peter Mwaba said people looking after the sick at the hospital had been a strain on the hospital.

Dr Mwaba said the hospital’s mandate was to look after the sick but was now forced to also look after the caregivers.

He said the hospital had also seen an influx of patients from outside Lusaka who were receiving specialist treatment.

Dr Mwaba said the hospital was forced to admit patients that were not supposed to be admitted, thus straining the present staff.

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