While Information and Broadcasting Minister Kennedy Sakeni insisted that UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema told lies about the existence of problems with the supply of oxygen to UTH, Managemenent at the institution and Minister of Healthy Dr. Joseph Kasonde admitted the existence of the problem at the institution as can be seen from this story carried by the Daily PF newspaper of this week.
Question is who is telling the truth as this involves human lives being in danger?
By CLAVER MUTINTA
THE University Teaching Hospital (UTH) has engaged manufacturers of the defective oxygen plant at the health institution to repair it and stabilise the supply of commodity.
UTH public relations manager Pauline Mbangweta said in an interview in Lusaka on Thursday that the manufacturers of the oxygen plant have been working on the facility for about three days.
“The oxygen plant is still undergoing maintenance and we have called in the manufacturers of the plant to work on it,” he said.
Ms Mbagweta said the hospital will continue pumping oxygen from the other plant into theatres for emergency cases only while the wards will be serviced by oxygen from cylinders.
“We are still pumping oxygen into the theatres for emergency and life-threatening cases only, such as victims of accidents and people collapsing,” he said.
And UTH managing director Lackson Kasonka said the defective oxygen plant will be replaced with a new one soon.
Dr Kasonka said the process of replacing an oxygen plant takes some time and cannot be done overnight.
“I can’t say it will take two days, three weeks or six months. This is a gradual process which requires proper planning,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde told the ZNBC that he has summoned the company that repairs oxygen plants and that he has been assured that the problem has been resolved.
The minister said he has received calls that UTH management should be fired but that the malfunctioning of one of the oxygen plants is not an indication of management’s failure.