Social Scientist Innocent Kolala says it is disappointing that the recruitment of medical staff as directed by President Edgar Lungu is delaying while positive cases of the coronavirus are rising in the Country from only 2 on 18th March, to more than 60 cases on 19th April 2020.
About three weeks ago, the Zambian Government through the Ministry of Health announced the planned recruitment of 400 medical doctors and 3000 other health workers to scale up the fight against Coronavirus Disease.
Mr Kolala said the services of health workers are needed more, now than ever before to help fight this pandemic which has devastated millions of people across the globe.
He said there is need for vigorous screening and testing especially in border areas and the people to do this are health workers, so the delay to recruit is creating a disaster, bearing in mind that borders are crucial entry points for diseases such as COVID-19 and if not properly managed would affect the Country significantly.
Mr Kolala has appealed to bureaucrats in charge of these recruitments to speed up the process or risk being reactive because the COVID-19 has potential of escalating to uncontrollable levels as witnessed in some Countries.
He noted that President Edgar Lungu has shown leadership by directing the employment of more health workers especially during the coronavirus disease fight, and through the hardworking Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya as well as other cabinet Ministers, it is expected that implementation is given the attention it requires.
He said those responsible for ensuring that the Presidential directive is actualized to quickly do so.
Mr Kolala said the addition of only 3400 health workers is, however, not enough for the Zambian health sector which has been facing human resource shortages for a long time thereby straining existing personnel with unprecedented work overloads and abnormal hours of working.
He said with the way coronavirus cases are rising in the Country, the Government should consider adjusting upwards the numbers of health workers to be employed as the recruitment exercise progresses.
He said the health sector is a critical one because it involves life, and a healthy citizenry is among major ways of enhancing productivity for a sustainable economy.