Govt moves to address drug shortages, engages 24 contractors to supply medicines worth K600 million


About 24 local suppliers have been awarded contracts to fix the issue of drugs in high level healthcare in Zambia.

Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) sort to carryout this through a mop up exercise.

Company Senior Manager-Corporate Communications, Bradley Chingobe, pointed out that the contracts are worth over K600 million in total for the immediate supply of essential medicines and Micah supplies.

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This is aimed at addressing the stock imbalances at tertiary level of healthcare service delivery.

Chingobe said this in a statement in Lusaka on Thursday.

“The exercise was conducted through an open national tender and attracted 31 bids at the initial stage, which later was reduced to 24 after physical inspection and evaluation on the true availability of ex-stock from respective bidders,” he explained.

He said to sustainably inhibit the shortages of medicines and medical supplies in our public health facilities, ZAMMSA devised a three-fold strategy to address the stock imbalances.

“The first strategy was the bulk supply of medicines through the government to government approach with the Arab Republic of Egypt, the second one was through the support of United Nations Agencies such as UNICEF, UNDP, Global Fund,” he said.

Chingobe indicated that the third one was through the mop up exercise whereas ZAMMSA purchased the much needed essential medicines and medical supplies from the local market.

He said the procurement process allowed ZAMMSA to procure commodities within a short lead time as only suppliers with stock readily available were considered.

“This in turn reduces on the delivery turnaround time,” he added.

He stressed that the agency expected to see immediate improvement on stock availability in tertiary health facilities such as the University Teaching Hospital, Levy Mwanawasa Teaching Hospital, Ndola Teaching Hospital, Livingstone General Hospital and all tertiary level hospitals across the country.

Furthermore, he said the Agency would soon commence the distribution of health center kits to all facilities offering primary healthcare services.

“This will push the stock levels to above 85 percent at primary healthcare level, a move that will also help mitigate the demand and pressure at tertiary level,” he stated.

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