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Gov’t being misled over shortage of drugs – Dr Chilufya

IT is embarrassing to see senior government officials attempting to mislead the public on the availability of drugs in health facilities because the people are the ones who are getting prescriptions from the facilities, Chitalu Chilufya has said.

Dr. Chilufya, the Mansa Central Patriotic Front (PF) Member of Parliament said government officials did need to argue with the consumers who were getting prescriptions to buy medicines out or National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA) supported pharmacies.

Dr Chilufya has challenged the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) to explain to the public why their staff in the laboratory resigned on moral grounds for forging reports.

“I want to challenge ZABS to explain to the public today why its staff in the laboratory resigned on moral grounds for forging reports. I must state here that the public is on closure on issues of expired drugs and leaking condoms. If anyone has evidence to that effect let them bring it on the table” he said.

Dr. Chilufya also challenged ZABS to produce evidence from its World Health Organization (WHO) accredited laboratories to indicate that Zambia procured expired drugs and defective condoms.

He said apart from screaming headlines linking him to the scandal, no evidence had been produced to show that the Ministry of Health under his tenure procured expired drugs.

Dr. Chilufya described the Honey Bee issue as a Hoax of the century.

Meanwhile Dr. Chilufya stated that the Health Sector underwent Major reforms during his tenure as both Deputy and Minister of Health.

He said government officials should not argue with the Zambia Medical Association (MAZ) who were ever in hospitals and other medical facilities when they advise that there were no drugs and medical supplies in hospitals.

“We cannot argue with doctors because they are on the frontline. They know what is lacking in these health facilities. They understand what is needed to provide quality health care,’ Dr Chilufya said.

Dr. Chilufya who is also the PF presidential candidate said it would not be wise to argue with other stakeholders who had taken interest in the availability of essential drugs like the  Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops and the NGOCC among others.

He urged government to embark on emergency measures to ensure that the supply chain for medicines was restored because without this Zambia would continue losing lives under preventable conditions.

Dr. Chilufya said government today had an opportunity to build on what they found because they found a system that was solid and there was no need to redo anything, they just need to build on and indicators would show that they were improving.

He said UPND used the arrogance of numbers to shoot down a Parliamentary committee report on medicines that highlighted that the country was in need of drugs.

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