The politicking and sustenance of the Honeybee lie will not resolve the health system failure the country is experiencing due to shortage of drugs and medical supplies, former Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya has said. 

Dr Chilufya said in Parliament that some people think by sustaining the Honeybee lie against him, women will stop dying from preventable maternal diseases caused by shortage of drugs in public health facilities. 

He said the blame game and denial by the new dawn administration that there is a problem in the health sector shows that the people in authority are not willing to resolve the problem.  

Dr Chilufya said the new dawn administration should take responsibility of the shortcomings in the health sector as opposed to always pointing fingers to the previous government. 

He said the continued shortage of drugs requires that all leaders are summoned to the table to reflect the problem and understand what is causing the shortage.

He said the report by the parliamentary committee speaks one message that there are no drugs in public health institutions.

Dr Chilufya said in average, about 20 expectant mothers die from preventable maternal diseases every week in the country.  

Dr Chilufya said maternal and perinatal death surveillance review report indicates that in week 35, 15 expectant mothers lost their lives while in week 39, 16 died from preventable diseases while in week 48, 21 expectant women lost their lives.

He noted with sadness the continued politicising and trivialising of the shortage of drugs in public health institutions which was very upsetting. 

Dr Chilufya said according to the report by the parliamentary committee, the level availability of drugs at health centres has dropped to below 24 percent.

He said the report points to a health system failure caused by a drug supply chain failure and wondered why it was so when the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has provided money for the procurement of drugs and medical supplies. 

He attributed the shortage to the country not having a competent procurement team at ZAMMSA coupled with the untimely cancellation of supply contracts by the new administration.

Dr Chilufya said there is need for the government to put politics aside and move in quickly to find a lasting solution by promoting local capacity in the production of essential drugs. 

He also urged the government to remove the National Health Insurance Management Authority from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and take it back to the Ministry of Health to resolve funding to the health sector.


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