Govt initiates bulk purchase of essential medicines, targets 70% stock availability by Q3


The Zambia Medicine and Medical Supply Agency (ZAMMSA) has initiated bulk medical procurement with short lead times through the Unified Procurement Authority of Egypt and the United Nations Children’s Fund valued US$13.8 million, authorities have said.

Acting Minister of Health, Mulambo Haimbe, revealed this during a media briefing in Lusaka on Friday.

Haimbe said ZAMMSA has also initiated bulk medicine procurement with other UN agencies such as the Nations Population Fund to address the critical shortage of medicines and medical supplies in the country.

He said the United Nations Development Programme procurement is valued at US$9.4 million to secure the reproductive health commodities and government is working with UNFPA to procure commodities valued at US$2 million.

“The government under the leadership of President Hakainde Hichilema is committed to improve the availability of essential medicines and medical supplies by the end of second quarter 2023,” Haimbe said.

He said in the third quarter the World Health Organization (WHO) target of 70percent stock availability will be achieved as the country will experience an improvement in the supply of essential health commodities.

Haimbe said the Ministry of Health is actively working with ZAMMSA to ensure commodity security for the public health supply chain.

He said the awarding of the procurement contracts to these agents will lead to shorter delivery lead times and not allow for supply chain disruptions.

“In addition, ZAMMSA has also awarded contracts for Anesthetics medicines, Cancer Medicines, Dental Commodities, Orthopedic Trauma and Maxillofacial commodities to last over a year once delivered,” Haimbe said.

Read More:Own up to drug shortages, stop scandalizing health personnel, PF tells Health Minister Masebo

Meanwhile, Haimbe said a total procurement of 7000 essential health commodities kits will next month be in the country from India aimed at addressing the critical shortage of medicines and medical supplies in the country.

He said the essential heath facilities that are expected in June are among the 42,000 Kits that were procured of which 50 of them arrived in the country this month.

“Thereafter that the country will continue to receive 7000 kits every two months to address the current shortage of medicines and medical supplies in the health centres offering primary healthcare to the people,” Haimbe said.

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