THE Government has signed eight contracts with six local contractors worth more than K32 million, for the construction of 15 maternity wings at health facilities in Eastern and Southern provinces.
The projects also include construction of six mothers’ shelters, four staff houses, an out-patient-department and water reticulation system.
Health Minister Sylvia Masebo said at the signing ceremony yesterday that the Government placed health on the top of its agenda, by ensuring that it provided health services closer to the people countrywide.
She said it was for this reason that the Government wanted to engage in upgrading and constructing health infrastructure that would help address challenges of infrastructure which hindered the progress in providing health services.
“The signing of these contracts will help bring health services closer to the people, because once infrastructure is in place, services will improve in both urban and rural areas of the country,” Ms Masebo said.
The minister said this was also in line with the policy directive to improve maternity wings in Zambia, which President Hakainde Hichilema and the New Dawn Government was willing to achieve and support.
Ms Masebo said for the country to address all health challenges, the Government wanted to invest in the building of maternal health infrastructure which in turn would improve health services in the country.
“Government wants to improve maternal health services in the country by taking health services closer to the people with the aim to provide equal access to health services by citizens,” she said.
The minister thanked the Swedish Government and other partners for the support in the health sector.
Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of the six contractors, Lucy Ngoma of Chancycan Enterprise thanked the Government for trusting local contractors.
Ms Ngoma said that empowering local contractors was a positive direction to create a fertile ground for employment.
“We are very impressed as local contractors for the Government to trust us, this will go a long way in uplifting the welfare of the local companies,” she said.
Ms Ngoma said the contracts given to the six companies were a good move which should be supported by all.
She promised the Government that contractors would do their best, to ensure works were of good standard.