Power and Politics

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


Patriotic Front (PF) Media Director, Antonio Mwanza, says Health Minister Sylvia Masebo should take responsibility and stop scandalizing innocent hardworking professionals over drug shortages in health facilities.

This is contained in a statement issued in Lusaka on Monday.

Mwanza said that there were no drugs in the hospitals because health workers are stealing the medicines is not only false and misleading but shows just how incompetent, irresponsible, the Minister is.

He said the persistent shortages of medicines and medical supplies in the hospitals were as a result of the failure by the government to purchase and distribute the drugs to our healthcare facilities.

Mwanza said according to the government’s own Performance Audit Report, the cause of the shortages of medicines and medical supplies is failure to procure the drugs.

“The Audit Reports have provided clear guidance and recommendations on the issue of the shortages of medicines and medical supplies in our clinics and hospitals. Guidelines and recommendations which Masebo and her government have up to date, failed to implement,” he said.

Mwanza has recommended that the Ministry of Health should ensure that essential medicines were readily available at the health facilities by monitoring the demand and supply of essential medicines to determine timely identification of reducing stock.

He said Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) should improve the delivery and supply of medicines and medical supplies to health institutions by ensuring that all orders were delivered on time according to the distribution schedule.

Read More:Zambian government promises to act on drug shortages

“The Ministry of Health must develop a database which would enable health facilities have access to information on the availability of medicines and medical supplies which were overstocked and under stocked in some health facilities and recommend for their redistribution to health facilities which may have low stock,” Mwanza said.

He said that the Ministry of Health should improve the needs assessment at health facilities so that the risk of medicines expiring on the shelf was reduced by avoiding overstocking.

Mwanza said medicines with short shelf life should only be delivered to health facilities after consent had been received from the facilities or the Ministry of Health and it had been established that they would be used within a specified period.

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