NGOCC board chairperson Beatrice Grillo says it is a shame that people with various health complications have to appear in newspapers and on television before they can be attended to.

Commenting on the plight of 24-year-old Florence Mampa of Samfya who had abnormal breasts, Grillo said the government should ensure that hospitals in the country are well maintained and have the proper facilities to detect such cases on time.

She said Zambia needed to have systems in hospitals where people could be attended to whenever cases of that nature were suspected and identified.

Grillo said it was government's responsibility to make sure that it had a medical team that puts the interests of the patients at heart.

"Honestly we have a problem with our clinics because they do not give the right information. You go there all they give you is Panadol. Are you telling me that all along there was no clinic to detect that? (Mampa) should have been brought to bigger hospitals," she said.

Grillo wondered why health personnel in clinics do not report such cases to higher authority when they fail to treat them.

"To wait until somebody's breasts are almost reaching the ground that's when people are running around is wrong," she stressed.

She said the whole idea was not to make publicity out of it but to save lives, adding that people could be saved if given the right treatment on time.

Grillo emphasised that what happened to Robiana Muteka should not happen to anyone as it was just negligence on the part of medical staff.

"Why wait until it's too late? How about the many cases in the rural areas which do not come to the limelight? Those people just die without any one attending to them," she said.

Grillo, however, commended the media for bringing out such cases to the public.

UTH doctors on Friday removed 8.1 kilogrammes of flesh from Mampa's left breast and 8.15 kilogrammes from the right now, an operation UTH managing director Dr Luckson Kasonka described as a successful plastic surgery.