There has been an insatiable demand for doctors and health professionals all around the world. The situation is worse for those who live in rural areas of the country. Many have to travel around 300 Kilometers to reach the nearest hospital. This is especially an issue when emergency care is needed for pregnant women.
The State of Healthcare in Zambia
Even those who reach the hospitals have to wait in a long queue before getting the medical attention they require.
According to the Medical Journal of Zambia and the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that the Doctor-patient ratio is 1:1200 which shows the pressing demand for doctors in Zambia. This is way beyond the acceptable standard of 1:500. This shows that Zambia has a shortage of 3,000 doctors.
To address this shortage, the Zambian government has trained non-physician clinicians (NPCs) to perform minor surgical procedures, which are usually reserved for doctors. This process is referred to as task-shifting. Although recommended by WHO, this process raises concerns due to its safety for the patients involved in the procedure.
The Brain-Drain Phenomenon
Despite being one of the highest paying jobs, Zambia also faces issues to retain its medical graduates. Candidates form the university of Zambia tend to move to other countries in search of better-paying and higher-learning opportunities leaving many health posts vacant.
Safety for Health Workers
Historically, many Zambian health workers have been not spared by HIV/AIDS pandemic. They are unable to contain the spread of the virus due to the requirement of services in complexity and quantity.
The Top Ten Diseases Affecting Zambia
- Neonatal disorders
- Lower respiratory infections
- Diarrheal diseases
- ischemic heart disease
- Congenital disabilities
Steps Taken by the Zambian Government and the Community
The ministry of health Zambia has rolled out a seven-year plan to upgrade the medical infrastructure. Plans are underway to build around 650 health centers across the country to address this issue. Health services in Zambia still have a long way to go.
The Ministry of Health Zambia shows that there is a shortage of human resources around three thousand doctors in the country. Even with NGOs lending a helping hand, the numbers are still unbalanced. With the ever-growing rate of population, one cannot deny the fact that healthcare in Zambia needs urgent attention.
According to the deputy minister of public health, Mr. Chitalu Chilufya, Almost all the students who graduate from the Zambian medical school end up practicing. Over sixteen-thousand health, personnel was recruited since 2016. Candidates tend to move to other countries, especially the UK, for more excellent opportunities, the minister said.
The first lady of Zambia, Ester Lungu, stated that they need to address the issue of nurses leaving their posts from rural areas. These areas where their services are in dire need. Lady Esther Lungu also promised to contribute more to the healthcare system through her foundation Esther Lungu Foundation
The ongoing activists moment has demanded the government for more medical centers and health professionals to assign to said centers. Pursuing a career in the medical field right now can become a fantastic opportunity to serve the people and the nation.
Current Challenges Faced by the Medical Sector
Challenges faced by the medical sector of Zambia in modern times according to WHO
- In-efficient management due to centralized decision structure.
- High attrition rates from pre-service training and employment.
- High worker morbidity and mortality due to HIV/AIDS.
- Fewer teaching staff and graduates. The fast decline of graduate’s overall service quality due to insufficient training.
- Lack of funding for proper infrastructure and equipment.
Why Do You Have to Set up a Career in Medicine?
There are various advantages one can experience if he/she chooses to pursue medicine in Zambia.
Since there is a growing requirement for doctors in Zambia, Job security will not be an issue.
Landscape for Innovation
Zambia has quickly has become a landscape for medical innovation. Tech companies have introduced new tools and procedures to tackle many medical obstacles. Candidates will automatically become early adopters of such advancements, which will add value to their careers.
The medical profession is rated the highest in job satisfaction around the world. Nothing feels as good as helping people in need.
Doctors are the best-paid professions in Zambia; you will never feel undervalued.
Opportunity to Go Abroad
Doctors are the most sought-after job not only in Zambia but also around the world. You will have a chance to move overseas if you choose to, unlike other fields that have limited potential.
Consider Texila American University (TAU)
TAU is a private medical school located in Zambia. As a coveted college, TAU, Zambia, is known for its advanced infrastructure and curriculum. It is designed exclusively to build world-class doctors and healthcare practitioners for Zambia and the world.
TAU, Zambia provides students the opportunity to experience international medical education. TAU aims to give students the exposure and guidance required to excel in a dynamic and demanding medical field. Students of TAU are put through an intensive academic program that combines theoretical knowledge and practical experiences. That produces professionals who are ready to tackle the challenging field of medicine and offer world-class care.
The Health Professionals Foundation Program (HPFP) at TAU, Zambia, has been crafted to prepare students for the MBChB course. It offers a firm footing in natural sciences and behavioral sciences. The course serves as a bedrock for the core concepts of medical sciences. Which will be crucial for their understanding of concepts and terms during their MBChB course.
MBChB Program The Bachelors of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) program is aimed at training students to become competent doctors. With the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitude to succeed in a dynamic environment. The program offers a broad and detailed approach to healthcare education. The MBChB curriculum that is balanced between preventive, curative, rehabilitative, and promotive healthcare.