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Govt releases K543.4m for drugs and medical supplies

By NATION REPORTER

GOVERNMENT has released K543.4 million for procurement of drugs and medical supplies in various public health institutions.

Secretary to the Treasury Felix Nkulukusa indicated that this was part of K650m which was also released for procurement of drugs and medical supplies and the K67m for hospital operations.

Government has however announced that it has procured enough essential medicines for health facilities to address the shortage of drugs that hit some health facilities.

Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Technical Service Lackson Kasonka said that medicines would be supplied to medical facilities next week.

Professor Kasonka said Government remained focused to ensuring that all medical facilities were fully stocked with essential drugs.

He further warned staff in Government medical facilities against pilfering drugs because such behaviour will attract stiff punishment.

“Government has put measures aimed at curbing drug pilferage in hostels and Clinics,” he said.

And former Pharmaceutical Society of Zambia president Jerome Kanyika said the leadership shown by Health Minister Sylvia needed to be commended because it would stabilise the supply chain in the country.

He said the team at the Zambia Medicines Medical Supplies Agency had also proved that they were effective and help improve the health system because they were open in their dealings.

Mr Nkulukusa said the Treasury also released K355.4m to the Public Service Pension Fund to facilitate payment of dues to retirees and K169.3m was released to facilitate the ongoing implementation of the Social Cash Transfer Programme.

He said with regard to agriculture subsidies, the Treasury released K100m under the Farmer Input Support Programme to pay arrears to suppliers of fertiliser and seed for the current season.

Mr. Nkulukusa said to remain on course with the strategy of reducing the country’s indebtedness and ensure fiscal sustainability in due course, Government released K97m to help liquidate outstanding liabilities for previously consumed goods and services under various line ministries, provinces and agencies. 

He said as announced by the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Gary Nkombo, the Treasury also released K805m to facilitate the implementation of projects under the Constituency Development Fund.  Mr. Nkulukusa said the Treasury also released K694.5m for various projects and general government operations.  He has reiterated the call by the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane, for ministries, provinces and agencies to ensure that funds are used on budgeted for projects.

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