Government has launched the Chipata Medical Stores hub in Eastern Province.
Health Minister Dr. Joseph Kasonde who officiated at the occasion noted that the purpose of the distribution hub is to improve the supply of medicines and medical supplies to health facilities in the province.
Dr Kasonde said the decentralization of medical stores will provide a platform upon which district medical offices shall participate in the distribution of the supplies.
He also noted that it will lead to increased accessibility of Pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to all health centres through a dedicated, predictable and efficient transportation.
“I know that progress has been made in the development of the national supply chain strategy for essential medicines and medical supplies, this new strategy will incorporate all stakeholders,” he said.
Dr Kasonde stressed that government remains committed to ensure the budget for drugs is adequate to meet the needs of the people and is to this effect, improving storage infrastructure at all health centres across the country.
And Eastern province Minister Malozo Sichone says government is committed to addressing the persistent shortage of medicines and medical supplies in the province evidenced by strides taken.
Speaking in a speech read for him by Provincial Permanent Secretary Dr. Chileshe Mulenga, Mr Sichone said to the initiatives being implemented on the several health centres in the province.
He noted that people in the province cannot wait for improved drugs and medical supplies and improved health services resulting from the decentralization of Medical stores limited.
He however, complained about the poor work culture among health personnel in the province.
He noted that grant aided health facilities generally provide a better service compared to public institutions saying this is due to the poor work culture being exhibited among health workers.
“Members of the public with the capacity to make a choice prefer to go to St. Francis Mission Hospital opposed to government hospitals,” he said.
Speaking at the same occasion, Medical stores managing director Boniface Fundafunda expressed happiness that the mandate of medical stores has been extended to encompass end to end supply chain servicing including the last mile distribution.
He stated that once operational, the medical stores provincial hub will service all the eight districts of eastern province and Chama district of Muchinga province.
Dr. Fundafunda disclosed that three other provincial medical stores hub are scheduled to be commissioned in Western, copperbelt, Northern and North-western Provinces.
He stated that the distribution hub will help meet the Ministry mission of providing equity of access to cost effective quality health care services to the people of Zambia to the family as close as possible.