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Drugs did not vanish, says Govt

GOVERNMENT has dismissed reports that medical supplies and drugs worth over K166 million did not reach their desired destinations after dispatch from Medical Stores in Lusaka.

Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary – Technical Service, Dr Kennedy Malama, said in an interview that the reports were misleading because the published audit of accounts for the financial year ended December 31, 2020 were not yet consolidated.

He was reacting to reports that K166 million worth of drugs did not reach designated hospitals as of April 30, this year.
The reports suggested that the affected stations of the undelivered drugs were Chinsali General Hospital, Nakonde and Mumbwa district hospitals, Kitwe Teaching Hospital, Arthur Davison Children’s Hospital and Mazabuka General Hospital.
Others were Kawambwa District Hospital, Lewanika General Hospital, Levy Mwanawasa Hospital and Matero 1st Level Hospital, among others.

But Dr Malama described the reports as “unconsolidated and misleading.”
“First of all, it is unfortunate that the media rushed to report on information that is not yet consolidated. It is actually misleading.
“That issue of drugs and medical supplies purported to have not reached designated hospitals was a communication to the ministry from the auditor general’s office for purposes of clarification before it is finally published. And we clarified that matter,” he said.
Dr Malama urged the media to report on verified information unlike publishing raw data which could cause unnecessary alarm from the public.

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