Parliamentary Committee on Health chairperson Matthews Ngwale says the committee is planning to start inspecting sanitation in public hospitals to fight cholera in the country.
Speaking in an interview yesterday, he said the initiative is important as hospitals are places where people seek medical help; hence, the need to ensure that there is proper sanitation.
Ngwale, who is Chiradzulu West legislator, said: “Our focus is on hospitals because they are the ones that assist people. We must make sure that there is proper sanitation in the hospitals. We cannot ignore hospitals if we are to fight the disease.
“We also want to look at issues to do with equipment in hospitals. Some equipment is not working due to small faults, so we want to look into such issues.”
He said after inspecting the hospitals, the committee will be visiting the surrounding communities to draw differences between sanitation in hospitals and the communities.
However, health experts have described the move by the committee as a misplaced priority, arguing that the primary focus of the inspections must be on the affected communities.
Public health expert Maureen Chirwa argued that the escalating cholera cases in the country are as a result of poor sanitary facilities in communities and districts, as such, there is need for the committee to focus on these areas.
Epidemiologist Adamson Muula, while describing the planned visits as worthwhile, said they should be comprehensive rather than just focussing on sanitation.
He said parliamentarians must also consider going into villages and urban areas where cholera is raging to appreciate for themselves sanitary issues on the ground.
“Let them visit urban locations and villages where cholera is raging to appreciate where people defecate and draw water,” said Muula.