Penny Mwape – Zambia

Penny Mwape – Zambia

Date: July 5, 2015
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Councillor Penny Mwape from Luanshya has made primary health one of her concerns. In her ward, she goes to the clinics to find out how the medical personnel are dealing with patients because she had heard many complaints about the service at clinics and that nurses are rude. She gives the personnel talks and also advises on cleanliness in clinics. She recalls that she has found people washing their dishes, doing laundry and bathing their children at a communal tap, which is unhygienic. As a result, she conducts random checks to ensure that hygiene standards are being complied with. She recently approached the Rotary Club and they agreed to assist her with erecting a ‘Mother’s Shelter’ for women, who bring their children to the clinic and have to wait for a long time. With the shelter, they will have a place to sit, under shelter, while they hold vigil, and it will also accommodate family visiting their daughters or wives who are in the maternity clinic.

Councillor Mwape also advises community members about the importance of taking their deceased’s to mortuaries. In her area, which is peri-urban, many people leave bodies in the house which is a big health concern. “They will have the body next to them and then eat!” she exclaims. She advises residents to take the body to the mortuary. Often she helps transport the bodies in her car.

Penny Mwape says media exposure and strong communications have been a very important aspect of her work as councillor. Formerly a secretary, she said that public relations work, dealing with people and managing relations has helped her in her political career. “You have to work very hard and expose yourself” to the media and community to get your message out, and communicate effectively.


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