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MQHZ calls on ZAMMSA to restructure drug procurement chain

• There is need to restructure the drug procurement chain.
• People in rural areas should have easy access to the drugs in public health facilities.
• Citizens want to see the smooth flow of medicines in health facilities across the country.

Medical for Quality Healthcare in Zambia (MQHZ) has called on government through Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) to restructure the drug procurement chain.
Speaking in an interview with Money FM News, Organization Director General Dr. Quince Mwabu said this is to ensure efficient supply and delivery of essential medicines to hospitals and clinics.
Dr. Mwabu noted that the country has been having the problem of drug shortages in clinics and hospitals for many years, a situation which should not be the case.
He stated that people especially those in rural areas should have easy access to the drugs in public health facilities because there are no private hospitals or big Pharmacies in remote communities where they can get essential medicines.
“We have been having this problem of drug shortages in clinics and hospitals for many years. We have been saying as MQHZ that we really need to restructure the drug procurement chain, because we can’t be having a shortage of essential medicines for some years.”
“People should have access to these drugs in clinics and hospitals especially in rural areas. People in rural areas are suffering because in rural areas there are no private hospitals or big Pharmacies where they can get drugs. This issue of drug shortages is a very sensitive matter because we are talking about the lives of people. We have been monitoring these hospitals and clinics, the only drugs that some hospitals have can only last for a month,” Dr. Mwabu stated.
Dr. Mwabu however expressed happiness over government’s revelation that ZAMMSA has completed the procurement of essential medicines and medical supplies budgeted at over K217 million.
He added that citizens want to see the smooth flow of medicines in health facilities across the country because Ministry of Finance has already released funds for the procurement of medicines and medical supplies.
“In other hospitals they only have emergency drugs while others do not have any drugs so if nothing serious is going to be done within a month, we are going to have a drug crisis in these hospitals and clinics across the country, so something serious needs to be done as soon as possible,” he added.
Dr. Mwabu further called on ZAMMSA to shorten the drug procurement process so that people are able to access medicines whenever they visit public hospitals and clinics.
“And where we have been having a problem is between ZAMMSA and ZPPA because procurement of drugs is a long process that is why ZAMMSA and ZPPA have got that mandate to table this issue and shorten the process so that we can have these drugs in hospitals and clinics,” Dr. Mwabu said.
Last week, Ministry of Health disclosed that ZAMMSA has completed the procurement of essential medicines and medical supplies budgeted at over K217 million and that deliveries are expected to start within this month.
The Ministry further revealed that an additional procurement for the supply and delivery of essential drugs and medical supplies budgeted at over K881 million is underway, while the procurement of health centre kits has been completed and delivery is expected in October, 2022.

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