…as Health Minister Dr. Jonas Chanda warns against pilferage of essential medical supplies
Lusaka… Wednesday, 12 May, 2021.
HEALTH Minister Jonas Chanda has warned against pilferage of essential medicines and medical supplies in the country and has assured of continued effective supply of the commodities.
Speaking when he inspected drugs donated by the Japanese government at the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) Wednesday morning, Dr Chanda stressed the need to ensure safe and efficacious drugs which must be subjected to analysis.
The drugs, such as amoxyl, paracetamol, condoms and gloves are part of the 4, 190 health centre kits donated by the Japanese government.
Dr. Chanda says the donation follows President Edgar Lungu’s visit to Tokyo, Japan in August 2019 where with his counterpart the Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, signed a grant aid worth Three Hundred Million Japanese Yens (300,000,000 JPY) (2,750,038.37 USD), as part of the Economic and Social Development Programme.
The aid is earmarked for the procurement of Health Centre kits, which are a backbone of primary health care services in Zambia.
“Today, am glad to witness the fulfillment of the commitment made by the Japanese Government which has translated into a delivery of 4,190 Health Center Kits.”
Dr. Chanda said that the Health Center kits were expected to cover two months of stock of medical supplies countrywide.
The minister further assured that Government, through the Ministry of Health, is working towards stabilizing the supply chain by implementing measures such as provision of funds to pay the suppliers owed, promoting and supporting the local pharmaceutical manufacturing industry so that resilience in the national local supply chain is restored.
He also highlighted the strengthening of logistical management systems across the supply chain including accurate forecasting, quantification of commodities, preventing pilferage and theft of commodities and decisively acting where incidents are reported.
“Let me take this opportunity to commend our cooperating partners for all the support in the supply chain pillar as we have been responding to COVID 19 but also more importantly in supporting routine health services.
“I assure you of my personal and Ministry of Health’s commitment to accountability, transparency and integrity in the execution of programs including the supply chain,” he said.
And Ministry of Health Director of Clinical Care and Diagnostic Services, Alex Makupe has assured speedy finalization of review and renewal of contracts.
Meanwhile, ZAMMSA Acting Director General, Chipopa Kazuma, says the agency has put up deliberate measures to ensure the safety of the kits.