By OLIVER SAMBOKO
GOVERNMENT has completed the procurement for the supply and delivery of essential medicines and medical supplies budgeted at K217, 991, 473, acting Health Minister Ambrose Lufuma disclosed in parliament yesterday.
Meanwhile, Mpika Member of Parliament Francis Kapyanga challenged the new dawn government to declare the shortage of drugs in public health institutions a disaster.
He said this is the way, cooperating partners and others would be able to assist improve supply.
But Mr Lufuma said as far as the government was concerned there is no disaster in the health sector to warrant the declaration as was being suggested by the Mpika MP.
And delivering a ministerial statement on what was being done to improve the supply of essential medicine and medical supplies, Mr Lufuma said the delivery is expected to commence this month.
Mr Lufuma also said another procurement for the supply and delivery of essential medicines budgeted at K181,720,535 is underway.
He said additionally, the procurement of 42,000 health Centre kits has been undertaken with delivery being expected in October 2022.
He said ZAMMSA had since called off orders on Ministry of Health contracts that were vetted and transferred to the agency.
He said to improve availability, ZAMMSA has undertaken 15 procurements so far which include anti-cancer medicines, antiretroviral medicines, anti-malarial medicines and assorted essential medicines and medical supplies.
Mr Lufuma said following the purchase of essential medicines, supply of drugs is expected to improve in the coming weeks.
He said the government has so far released K2.3 billion a through ZAMMSA to facilitate the procurement of both emergency and routine long term framework based contracts in order to achieve stability.
Mr Lufuma also said the procurement process for medicines and medical supplies will be conducted in an accountable and transparent manner.
He said the new dawn administration is aware that the inconsistent supply of essential medicines and medical supplies over the years has remained a major concern.
He said that by March 2021, the availability of essential medicines and medical supplies at the national level ranged from 30 to 40 percent.