Speech by the Minister of Health, Hon. Kasonde at the Official Opening of Chadiza District Hospital on Friday 15th february 2013

It is indeed my pleasure and honor to join you at this official opening of Chadiza District Hospital.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
The construction of Chadiza District Hospital started in 2006 with a project sum of fifteen million fifty six thousand three hundred and ninety kwacha (KR15, 056,390).  To date, a total of fourteen million nine hundred and forty one two hundred and fifty three kwacha (KR14, 941,253) has been paid to contractors who have undertaken various works. 
These works have been executed in phases as follows:
Phase one:  Construction of theatre, X-ray and maternity blocks by China Jiangxi at one million seven hundred thousand kwacha (KR1, 700,000).
Phase two:  Construction of administration block, outpatient, laboratory, mortuary and incinerator by Earthrow/Mwasika JV at four million one hundred thirty six thousand eighteen kwacha (KR4, 136,018).

Phase three:  Construction of service block (kitchen, laundry), female and children’s wards, 10 staff houses, road network and walkways by Earthrow Investments Ltd at eight million twenty thousand three hundred and seventy three kwacha (KR8, 020,373).

Phase four:  Construction of sewerage ponds and sewerage system by Fair Face Enterprise Ltd at one million two hundred thousand kwacha (KR1, 200,000).
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen 
Chadiza District Hospital shall make a difference in the lives of the people of Chadiza who were seeking health services elsewhere, a situation which was not only costly to individual patients and their families but to Government as well.  Therefore, today is a joyous day and a milestone in the development of not only Chadiza District but of Zambia as a whole.  A lot of lives are going to be saved now as it is not a secret that many of our people in Chadiza were unable to access any health services due to a number of socio-economic and cultural reasons and the lack of a hospital.

The opening of Chadiza District Hospital today is in line with our mission statement as a health sector of “Provision of equitable access to cost effective, quality health services as close to the family as possible” and our overall goal of “ Improving the health status of people in Zambia in order to contribute to socio-economic development”.  All these we strive to achieve within the context of a Clean, Caring and Competent health care environment.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
The PF Government takes infrastructure development as a cornerstone to the overall development of our country.  This is the main reason our focus as Government has been to complete all infrastructure projects, and Chadiza District Hospital was such a priority immediately the PF Government came to power.  
I am aware that this project has had challenges which made it difficult to complete on schedule.  However, I am happy today that these challenges have come to pass.  I would therefore like to thank all those who have made this possible.  Special thanks go to His Royal Highness Chief Mlolo for providing land on which the hospital has been constructed.  I am reliably informed that the land provided shall allow for future expansion of the hospital.  I commend you Your Royal Highness and as Government, we cherish and treasure this support and partnership.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
The development of our country is guided by the vision 2030, the Sixth National Development Plan and the Sector Strategic Plans.  As Government, we continue to pay special attention to infrastructure development and this shall continue to be the case.
In 2010, Government funded the construction of 18 Health Posts in Eastern Province at a total cost of four million six hundred thousand kwacha (KR4,600,000)  of which 9 are complete and operational while 9 are still under construction in Chipata and Petauke.  My Government will ensure that these Health Posts are completed in the shortest possible time.  In 2011, Lundazi District Hospital Phase 3 was completed at a cost of four million four hundred thousand kwacha (KR4, 400,000) while Chama District Hospital Phases one and two were completed at a total cost of six million six hundred thousand kwacha (KR6, 600,000).

In 2012 the Patriotic Front Government allocated a total of one hundred and eighty million one hundred and ninety one thousand six hundred and seventy one kwacha (KR180, 191,671) for infrastructure development in the health sector for the whole country.  Of this eleven million four hundred and twelve thousand nine hundred and twenty four kwacha (KR11, 412,924) was allocated to Eastern Province and I am happy that all these funds were released to the Province during the year.  These funds were meant for the construction of Chama District Hospital Phase three at three million seventy five thousand nine hundred and thirty five kwacha (KR3, 075,935), construction of Lundazi District Hospital Phase two at three million kwacha (KR3, 000,000), construction of Nyimba District Hospital phase one at two million kwacha (KR2, 000,000), completion of Chipata General Hospital staff hostel at one million kwacha (KR1, 000,000).  
Rehabilitation and extension of various health facilities received eight hundred and eight thousand two hundred and thirty five kwacha (KR808, 235) while rehabilitation and extension of training institutions received one million five hundred and twenty eight thousand seven hundred and fifty seven kwacha (KR1, 528,757).  As Patriotic Front Government we shall ensure that all these ongoing works are expedited and completed as per schedule.

Furthermore in 2013, the PF Government has allocated a total of one hundred and forty two million six hundred and seventy eight thousand, eight hundred and forty five kwacha (KR142, 678,845) for infrastructure development for the health sector in the country of which nine million one hundred and sixty six thousand seven hundred and twenty six kwacha (KR9, 166,726) has been allocated to Eastern Province. 
These projects to be undertaken in 2013 shall include on-going construction of Lundazi and Nyimba District Hospitals, construction of staff houses, rehabilitation and extension of health facilities and training institutions.  As Government we shall ensure that these appropriated funds are made available on time to ensure timely execution of all these projects. We shall also commence the construction of a district hospital in Chipata. 
In addition in 2013 Government shall embark on the construction of 650 health posts countrywide and Eastern Province (excluding Chama District) will have 57 health posts constructed   distributed as follows:  Katete (11), Lundazi (9), Mambwe (6), Nyimba (6), Chadiza (5), Vubwi (6), Petauke (8) and Chipata (6).  These works shall commence soon.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
The Patriotic Front Government shall ensure that infrastructure development planning is linked to human resource for health and equipment so as to ensure immediate opening of health facilities to the public upon completion.
In 2012, my Government aimed at recruiting 2,500 medical personnel.  I am happy that Eastern Province received a total of 132 Medical Personnel in 2012 compared to 54 in 2011 taking the total staffing levels to 2,660 of the 3,095 staff establishment.  Our target for 2013 is to have 160 Medical Personnel posted to the Province and Chadiza District Hospital shall be a priority.  In addition, more positions shall be created for Chadiza District in general and Chadiza district Hospital in particular so that key personnel are in place.  I am reliably informed that appropriate personnel have been mobilized to operationalize the hospital though gaps still remain and as Government we shall do everything possible to address this.  Government is further increasing Medical Personnel outputs from existing training institutions through infrastructure improvements, re-opening of previously closed training institutions, encouraging public – private partnerships and introduction of new training programs among other interventions.  

Government has also embarked on a program to procure medical and none medical equipment for health facilities.  Chadiza District Hospital has benefited as all the equipment needed for this level of care has been provided.  In addition, we shall soon provide ambulances and utility vehicles to all districts in the country Chadiza district inclusive.  Availability of drugs and medical supplies has greatly improved in the country in general and Eastern Province in particular and my Government shall endeavor to ensure that we improve on this current status even further.
Let me appeal to the people of Chadiza to look after this property very well and avoid vandalism, pilferage and theft of hospital property.  This is your hospital; therefore forever guard it jealously so that it can last forever. 
To all the Health Workers; I urge you to promote and implement the three Cs.
Clean:  All our health facilities must be of clean conducive environment to enhance the well-being, confidence and early recovery of our patients.  Kempt grounds and painted facilities are a must.  Cleanliness in the Health Sector is a responsibility for all of us. 

Caring:  Health facilities provide lifesaving services to our people.  Those requiring our services are usually vulnerable and distressed.  It is at this time of vulnerability and distress that we must provide a safe, comforting, compassionate environment for them by being empathic and carry out our duties timely and responsibly. 
Competent:  Services provided by our health facilities must be by appropriately qualified staff to ensure the safety of our patients and the effective and efficient use of our meager resources. 
I expect Chadiza district hospital in particular and all health facilities in the country to live up to this standard.
Finally Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to thank you all for coming to witness this momentous occasion and it is now my singulars honor and privilege to declare Chadiza district hospital officially open.

Thank you and God bless.

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