Category Archives: News/Announcements



Low birth weight refers to babies born with a weight of less than 2,500grams while very low birth weight are babies born less than 1,500grams.

According to Dr. Chisele an Obstetrician and Gynecologist the weight of a neonate at birth has a significant prognostic value and is a major determinant of child survival. Neonatal mortality and morbidity tends to increase proportionately with reduced neonatal birth weight. He said premature birth is a term for a baby born before the 37 completed weeks of gestation.

Dr.Chisele mentioned that 70% of babies born who are admitted to the Neonatal intensive Care Unit at the UTH labour ward are due to the low birth weight.

He said “the causes of low birth weight in neonates can be multi-factorial. Maternal factors include age, marital status parity, Social economic factors like preterm labour, multiple pregnancy possible complications in the index pregnancy, necessitating pregnancy interruption before term, cervix abnormalities, maternal high blood pressure, smoking during pregnancy, infections in the fetus, inadequate maternal weight gain and women under the age of 17 are at risk of delivering a low birth weight baby. Other causes includes: pre- eclampsia, twinning ante partum hemorrhage and others.

The two other main causes for a baby to be born with low birth weight are premature birth and intrauterine growth restriction.

Dr Chisele further said a baby born with low birth weight, may need to spend additional time in the hospital for close monitoring in D Block which is the neonatal intensive care unit. These can last days, weeks, or months depending on how much the baby weighed at birth and how long it will take for the baby to reach the appropriate weight before being allowed to go home.

Dr. Chisele pointed out that UTH has a specific weight requirement for discharge, but it is not always an absolute number and depends on the underlying causes and issues. In most cases an ultra sound can inform the Doctor before the baby is born that he or she is not gaining weight. The Doctor may want to monitor the fetal heart rate and perform additional ultra sounds to monitor the babies’ progress. Occasionally, a baby may need to born prematurely in order to save its life or the mother’s life due to other medical factors.

He said “The use of progesterone supplementation during pregnancy usually reduce the risk of recurrent preterm birth in women with a history of at least one prior spontaneous preterm delivery, has been considered in some centre’s on trial basis. However, its role in preventing preterm labour still remains unclear”.

The gynaecologist specialist said that physiologically progesterone has been known to reduce the likelihood of uterine contractions. This therefore means, there is a possibility that a woman who receives this supplements during pregnancy may be less likely to go into premature labour and ultimately contribute to a reduction in low birth weight babies.

Antenatal administration of progesterone reduces the risk of preterm birth as well as the risk of a new born being born with a weight of less than 2500g. Management at the University Teaching Hospital has put up measures to introduce giving oral progesterone to mothers who are expecting.

These low birth weight premature infants are born without adaptive mechanisms needed for survival outside the womb. These fragile infants require thermo protective interventions that begin in the delivery room. The treatment is warming babies in incubators. The hospital has acquired the state of art equipment like incubators to accommodate babies who needs special interventions like the premature babies.

He added that premature babies also often have respiratory problems because their lungs are not fully developed. An Infant with breathing problems may be given medicine such as surfactant or mothers are administered with a steroid drug to improve fetal maturity.

Dr. Chisele in conclusion said premature babies may also suffer hypoglycemia a condition in which the amount of blood glucose (sugar) in the blood is lower than normal. Treatment includes infusion with glucose. The baby’s blood glucose is closely monitored after treatment to see if the hypoglycemia occurs again.



One of the great architectural health structures in this country and region is the University Teaching Hospital which is spread over one and a half a kilometer (80 hectares) of land. Housing a magnificent collection of two storey buildings with ultra-modern medical facilities the hospital has embarked on the improvement of infrastructure through its modernization plan. Colin Powel says’ have a vision, be demanding’ and that’s exactly what University Teaching Hospital Management is doing. Against this vision lies a hidden vision that is visible to the ‘naked eye’ but has not been seen by many people who have either been admitted, worked in this hospital or have just been passersby. That vision is hidden in two rocks that signify the beginning of the construction of the main hospital. In geology a rock is a naturally occurring solid aggregate of one or more minerals or mineraloids. For example, the common rock granite is a combination of the quartz feld spar and biotite minerals. The earth’s outer solid layer, the lithosphere, is made of rock. Rocks have been used by mankind throughout history. From the stone age rocks have been used for tools: The minerals and metals we find in rocks have been essential to human civilization. Three major groups of rocks are defined: igeneous sedimentary (type of rock that are formed by the deposit of material at the Earth’s surface and within bodies of water). Standing opposite where it is written University Teaching Hospital, the two rocks were excavated from the site where the chest clinic used to be to signify the construction of the two story hospital block whose foundation was laid  in 1969 by the first Republican President Dr Kenneth D avid Kaunda. As Zambia celebrates its golden jubilee may these rocks stand as a reminder to both the nation and the hospital that University Teaching Hospital is meant to stand the test of time as it relish its dream of an independent health facility as a center of excellence by providing affordable quality health care?



Starkey Hearing Foundation, a non- governmental Organisation based in America working with Ministry of Health in Zambia, University Teaching Hospital and Zambia National Association for Hearing Impaired (ZNAHI) has embarked on a programme to donate 1000 free hearing aids.

The programme which started in 2010 where more than 400 people were fitted with free hearing aids in Lusaka and Livingstone is spreading to other provinces starting with central province and later Eastern Province in the next three (3) months.

Director of ZNAHI Mr. Kennedy Sikuka said Starkey Hearing Foundation has trained thirty (30) local volunteers in impression taking and is expected to reach all the provinces in order to take impressions which will be sent to America for moids to be made after  which a mission outreach will be organised to Zambia to fit the free hearing aids.

Mr. Sikuka said “The last Starkey Hearing Foundation mission was graced by the former USA president Bill Clinton in August 2013 in Livingstone at Royal Zambezi Hotel where 104 people received free hearing aids”.

The last mission to Zambia was led by the founder of SHF Mr. Bill Austin, Mr. Leigh Kassner the regional representative from South Africa and was also attended by Mr. Tryson Bruno and other officials from SHF Zambia branch.

Mr. Sikuka further said that this programme is being encouraged in an effort to help many people around the world to be enabled to hear and improve the provision of audiometric services to every one including the poor. This partnership with government will have a mission trip next year to fit free hearing.

Starkey Hearing Foundation in Zambia has partnered with several organisations in Zambia which include among others the Ministries of Health, Education and have also received support from National Pension Scheme Authority (Napsa), Zambia State Insurance Corporation (ZSIC), Mazhandu Family Buses and Aupie Agro Limited. However, more support is needed if more people are to be reached throughout the country.

For the project to succeed will appeal to all people who are hard of hearing to look out for our future missions around the country.


The Honorable Minister of Community Development Mother and Child Health Mrs. Emerine Kabanshi has officially launched the kangaroo mother care (KMC) training center at the University Teaching Hospital.

    The Minister said that the Save the Children International has been working in collaboration with both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health in supporting activities that address maternal and child health.

     The Honourable Minister said that in order to strengthen this collaboration, the organization has  refurbished a ward in maternity department through the support from maternal and child integrated programme (MCHIP) to offer kangaroo mother care,” she said.

    The Minister said “Kangaroo Mother Care was implemented to reduce child mortality in new born babies”.

 Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) is the early, prolonged and continuous skin to skin contact between a mother and her low weight birth new born infant, both in hospital and after early discharge, unless after at least 40th week of postnatal gestation age, with ideally exclusive breastfeeding and proper follow ups. Kangaroo mother care especially in low birth weight babies is initiated in the hospital after the condition of the babe has stabilized,

     Honorable Kabanshi further said small babies should stay in the skin to skin position all day and night to maintain a stable temperature.  She also said that infants who are not stable and require medical attention can practice intermittent kangaroo mother care by spending some hours in the KMC position, gradually increasing the time in which the baby gets strong.

     Speaking during the same event Save the Children country Director Tamer Kirolos said that his organization has supported 20 members of staff from University Teaching Hospital (UTH), Monze and Lufwanyama for the training of trainers in Kangaroo Care.

Mr. Kirolos said “Trained staff will be there to provide technical and clinical mentorship for the staff who will be working in the kangaroo mother care unit”.

He further said that every year Save the Children International gives a statement on state of the world’s mother’s international advocacy launch plan


THE Honorable Minister of Health Dr. Joseph kasonde said The University Teaching Hospital as the biggest referral hospital in the country can not afford to lag behind and benefit from the advancement in modern technology.

The Honorable Minister was speaking during the official commissioning of the laboratory information System and renovated Central Specimen Receiving laboratory at the University Teaching Hospital on 24th April, 2014.

The Minister said “The laboratory at UTH should satisfy clinician demands for quality laboratory services in terms of timeliness, cost effectiveness, reliability and availability and hence meet accreditation requirements in line with ISO 15189 standard for clinical laboratories”.

Dr Kasonde further said the implementation of the system cost about $391,952.45 and the funding was met with support from the Association of Public Health Laboratories and partnership with Center for Disease control (CDC).

The Honorable Minister said the immediate benefits include immediate availability of results to clinicians for decision  on patient management and provision of information for monitoring for the laboratory testing processes to ensure quality.

And speaking during the same event Association of Public Health laboratories representative Clement Phiri said that this partnership between APHL, CDC and the government of Zambia is being strengthened to enhance clinical and health care in hospitals.

And Center Disease Control (CDC) Dr Lawrence Marum said it is a pleas for the United States of America to partner with the Zambia government in improving health in hospitals like UTH.

He said that CDC has committed a lot of funds to various programmes in Zambia through the Presidential Emergency and Relief Fund (PEPFAR)

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To some it will seem strange to see small vehicles driving round the hospital as patients are transported from one point to another. These are none other than the golf carts that have been bought for the hospital for internal use only. This small vehicle is called the golf cart which was originally designed to carry two golfers and their golf clubs around a golf course or on desert trails with less effort than walking. Golf carts come in a wide range of formats and are more generally used to convey small numbers of passengers at short distances at a speed less than 15 mph (24 km/h).Reportedly the first use of a motorized cart on a golf course was by JK Wadley of Texarkana (Arkansas, who saw a three wheeled electric cart being used in Los Angeles to transport senior citizens to the grocery store. Public Relations Manager  Mwenya Mulenga says the golf cart has consciously considered to help in transportation of patients from different areas.

He says “ UTH is a vast institution and patients movements most times has poised a very big challenge in the delivery of healthcare and it is envisaged that the golf carts will assist in alleviating this need”

Mr Mulenga said that patients from far areas like paediatrics, to and from X-ray need to be safely and comfortably so that their sickness is not worsened.

And UTH Senior Medical Superintendent Dr Lackson Kasonka said that the coming in of golf carts is in tandem with the hospital theme of taking healthcare to the next level.

He said

“UTH is the biggest Hospital in the country and therefore must be in front and lead in advanced and modern way of health care delivery”.

He further said that the golf carts will add a lot of value and improve both the safety and comfort of patients as they are transported from one point to the next.