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Pharmaceutical expert casts doubt on new ZAMMSA board

THE appointment of a new ZAMMSA board members is an exercise in futility as it lacks competent personnel to undo the mess at the institution, a pharmaceutical expert, Jerome Kanyika has said.

In an interview, Mr. Kanyika described the appointment as a great disappointment as he insisted that the board was supposed to comprise members well versed in pharmaceutical matters.

He was commenting on the setting up of a board that is led by former Auditor General, Anna Chifungula.

Minister of Health, Sylvia Masebo on Tuesday appointed a board following ZAMMSA’s erroneous delivery of Honey Bee drugs to Kabwe General Hospital and Kasama Central Hospital.

He wondered how the government could appoint a medical doctor, Peter Mwaba as the interim managing director when he had no pharmaceutical know-how.

Mr Kanyika said that despite the new chief executive officer being a qualified and experienced medical doctor, that did not in any way make him the right candidate for the job.

He said that Zambia had a number of highly qualified and competent pharmacists who could have been picked. He said that the trend of making misplaced appointments must end if the country was going to improve in service delivery.

Mr Kanyika, who is also former Pharmaceutical Society of Zambia president, pointed out that the ills at ZAMMSA would not end if the government was making wrong decisions that were not addressing the main problems at the institution.

 He said that the excuse by ZAMMSA that the Honey Bee drugs that were wrongly delivered because they were wrongly stored by non-technical staff was enough to warrant the engagement of qualified staff in the rank and file of the institution.

 He wondered how ZAMMSA could throw the blame on non-technical staff for its failures. He therefore insisted that the government needs to take this matter seriously as medicines and supplies were critical to human safety.

“How can you appoint a non-pharmaceutical staff as director of an institution that is mandated to store and supply pharmaceutical products and equipment? This is a wrong appointment and must be looked,” Mr. Kanyika said.

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