The government has not provided financial grants to all the district medical offices in the country for the past three months causing a very serious crisis in the health sector.
All the provinces are affected but Luapula province has been hit the most.
Almost all ambulances in the province have been parked due to lack of fuel.
This means that health facilities are not able to pick up patients or refer them to bigger hospitals even in serious cases like maternity or road accidents. Patients, mostly from poor communities, are expected to organize transport to transport their relatives to referral hospitals.
Districts like Samfya, Milenge, Mansa, Mwense and kawambwa owe Amico filling station close to and in some cases more than K50, 000 each for fuel.
The filling stations have since stopped advancing fuel to District Medical Offices leading to the grounding of vehicles, which include ambulances.
A source in Sanfya told the Watchdog that ‘there is a serious crisis in the sector because of lack of funding; things are rough.’
When the PF government spilt the ministry of Health, District medical offices were relocated and put under the ministry of community development.