Govt. decentralizes drug distribution
Choma, June 27, 2013, ZANIS – THE Patriotic Front (PF) Government has started implementing its policy of decentralizing the functions of the Medical Stores Limited so as to ease distribution of drugs to rural districts.
This development called “cross-docking” will ensure effective delivery of health services to the people.
And Swedish Ambassador to Zambia, Lena Nordstrom, said the opening up of the Choma hub, the first in Zambia, reinforces in practical terms the Zambian government’s policy of taking affordable health services as close to the family as possible.
Health Deputy Minister Christopher Mulenga said the PF government is committed to bringing essential healthcare services closer to the people.
“This marks a significant milestone in the patriotic Front government policy of decentralization of services. The decentralization of the distribution function of medical stoles is a deliberate step of bringing essential health care services closer to the people,” said Mr. Mulenga.
ZANIS reports that the deputy minister disclosed this at the launching of the medical stores limited southern region cross-docking hub in Choma, today.
Mr. Mulenga said delivery of medicines and medical supplies to the health facilities has been a challenge to the health sector in Zambia despite massive investments in this area yearly.
He said it became imperative to rethink distribution systems and formulate a solution that addressed the challenges of “mile delivery’.
“I am therefore glad and proud therefore to announce that after a protracted process and collaborative discussions between my ministry, MSL and cooperating partners, a new model of distributing essential medicines and medical supplies was conceived and adopted, “ he said.
Dr Mulenga said the new model called “cross-docking” allows orders for each and every health centre to be centrally processed at medical stores and transported to the hub in bulk utilizing trucks ranging from 7 to 20 tonnes in size.
“These deliveries will be performed once every month to each health centre,” he said.
He said the purpose of this new distribution model is to improve the supply and management of essential medicines and medical supplies to all health facilities in the country.
And speaking at the same occasion, Swedish Ambassador to Zambia, Lena Nordstrom, said the opening up of the Choma hub, the first in Zambia, reinforces in practical terms the Zambian government’s policy of taking affordable health services as close to the family as possible.
Ambassador Nordstrom said it is worth noting that the setting up and operationalizing of regional distribution hubs constitute a major corner stone for the national supply chain strategy.
She said Sweden’s participation reaffirms her country’s commitment to assisting the Zambian government live up to its policy of improving access to health by all Zambians.
Speaking earlier, acting managing director for medical stores, Anne Zulu, revealed that five more hubs and six staging posts are planned to be commissioned in Chipata for the eastern region, in Lusaka for the central region, in Mongu for the western region, Kitwe to service Copperbelt and North-western region and kasama for the Northern region.