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Drug shortages persist


CONTRARY to assertions that hospitals and clinics have been fully stocked with drugs, the Residents Doctors Association of Zambia (RDAZ) has appealed to President Hakainde Hichilema to take a tour of some of the facilities in Lusaka to see for himself the extent of the critical shortage.

RDAZ president Dr Brian Sampa said a false narrative was being propagated that hospitals and clinics had been stocked with drugs when in fact not.

“The head of State should take time see for himself what is happening in most of these clinics and hospitals because it seems our calls are falling on deaf ears,” he said.

He said that a check in most hospitals indicated that they only had pain killers and ARV’s but did not have the other essential drugs.

“That problem is still there, they have not procured drugs in bulk and what is available right now is what was donated by stakeholders,” Dr Sampa said.

He said the ministry was preoccupied with demoting and transferring individuals they deemed close associates of the previous regime at the expense of procuring drugs in hospitals.

Dr Sampa said the president needed to take action against those misleading the nation over the procurement of drugs because most hospitals did not have medicines despite Government claiming that they had procured medicines.

 “I think it’s high time action was taken to sort out the issue of drugs because a very wrong narrative was being created,” he said.

Dr Sampa said Government should be sincere and give guidance on the current state of drugs in most government hospitals,

Dr Sampa said despite the government indicating that they had released funds for procurement of drugs most hospitals did not have essential drugs.

 Dr Sampa said that a check at Mtendere clinic in Lusaka indicated that they did not even have medication for an asthma attack.

Meanwhile, Economic Front chairperson for Health and Nutrition Development Jessy Mbewe said it was disheartening to see the new dawn administration providing poor services despite the previous government setting the stage for quality service delivery through the construction of hospitals and clinics.

Ms Mbewe said she was unhappy with the continued dwindling of the health care system from the time the new dawn administration took over government

Ms Mbewe said in a statement that she was expecting mini hospitals to be well equipped with diagnostic equipment like radiological and laboratory services.

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