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Govt refutes allegations on diversion of funds for drugs

• Government has adequately funded hospitals.
• Funding to hospitals has increased from K1.4 billion to K3.8 billion.
• Drug levels are not sitting at the ideal 80% level but are also not less than 50%.

Government says it has not diverted any funds meant for the purchase of drugs and medical supplies to fund free education as alleged in some sections of the media.

In a statement, Chief Government Spokesperson Chushi Kasanda said contrary to the allegations, government has adequately funded all hospitals from the time the new administration was ushered into office.

Ms. Kasanda, who is also Minister of Information and Media, stated that government has since increased the funding to hospitals from the K1.4 billion allocation in the previous regime to K3.8 billion.

“Government is taken aback by a story in which Patriotic Front member and former Roan Member of Parliament, Chishimba Kambwili is quoted as saying the reason behind the drug shortage is because government has used money meant to buy drugs to finance free education. This allegation is unfounded and a sheer figment of Mr Kambwili’s imagination,” Ms. Kasanda said.

She added that in December 2021 alone, the monthly allocation given to the hospitals was tripled, adding that from January to March, the amount has been doubled from K50, 000 to K100, 000 a month and that the monies have been paid on time.

“We would like to categorically state that we are aware that drug levels are not sitting at the ideal 80% level but are also not less than 50%. We believe, if the hospitals effectively used the monies we give them, they can avert the shortages.”

“We know for a fact, that the delay in the purchase of drugs was caused by litigation matters that made the new ZAMMSA board re-advertise the tender. This process is unavoidable.”
Ms. Kasanda assured the public that government is working at normalizing the situation.

There is an acute shortage of drugs in almost all public Clinics and Hospitals in the Country and patients seeking medical attention are mostly receiving prescriptions.

And according to Health Minster Sylvia Masebo, some suppliers of medicines and medical supplies whose contracts were cancelled are mounting a strong propaganda against the government.

Ms. Masebo recently told Parliament that there is a systematic ploy by the contractors to create a bad picture of the drug situation in the country when in actual sense the levels of drugs have been low for the last three to five years.

She said the availability of drugs over the years has been below the expected target of 80 percent and for a country to be certified stock sufficient, adding that the country requires K5.2 billion in order to meet the target.

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