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Govt admits persistent shortage of medicines

…but committed to addressing the stock imbalances in public health facilities

By NATION REPORTER
OVERNMENT has yet again admitted that there is a critical shortage of medicines and other medical supplies across the country but that it is still committed to addressing the drugs stock imbalances in the country’s public health supply chain.
Professor Lackson Kasonka has said it is the desire of government to ensure that all public health facilities are well-stocked with essential medicines and medical supplies for citizens to have easy access to quality healthcare services.
Prof Kasonka, the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services has however expressed concern that complaints have continued to emerge about the shortage of medicines, medical supplies and laboratory regents.
He said there were a lot of reports by patients that most public hospitals did not have medical kits like syringes for patients and were being told to buy the commodities using their own resources.
But Prof Kasonka said to mitigate the stock imbalances in health facilities the ministry through its procuring agency the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) had put in place several measures aimed at stabilising the supply of health commodities in the country.
“To mitigate the stock imbalance in health facilities, the Ministry of Health through its procurement agency, the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) has put in place several measures aimed at stabilizing the supply of health commodities in the country. These measures include the securing framework contracts worth K864 million with reputable suppliers for essential medicines and laboratory products to revamp the local pharmaceutical industry,” Dr Kasonka said
He said these measures included securing framework contracts worth K864 million with reputable suppliers for essential medicines and laboratory products to revamp the local pharmaceutical industry.
Prof Kasonka said this when he received a donation of assorted medicines and medical supplies worth $3.1 million made by Good Neighbours Zambia at the ZAMMSA central warehouse in Lusaka.
And Good Neighbours Zambia Country Director Jae-Woong Lee said they are committed to working with the Zambian government to stabilise the stock position in health facilities across the country.
Meanwhile, ZAMMSA Board Vice Chairperson Kennedy Saini assured Good Neigbhours Zambia that the donated medical supplies will be put to good use and serve the people by delivering them to health facilities in the shortest possible time across the country.

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