GOVERNMENT has declared a zero tolerance to drug stock-outs in health institutions across the country and has since put measures in place to ensure consistent supply.
This follows recent reported cases of shortages of essential drugs in some parts of the country like Namwala District.
Health Deputy Minister Chitalu Chilufya told journalists in Mansa on Monday evening that the issue of drug shortages has since been resolved.
Dr Chilufya said a fault in the system at Medical Stores Limited is what contributed to a shortage of drugs at some health institutions thereby causing a derailment in the distribution schedule.
“At the moment, Government has procured enough drugs and we have made enough provision in our budget for drugs. We do not expect any drug stock-outs; we have adequate drugs at Medical Stores and the institution is on schedule distributing drugs to various facilities in the country,” he said.
Dr Chilufya, who is Mansa Central Member of Parliament, said should there be a recurrence of drug stock-outs, then that would probably be caused by a lack of vigilance in the supply chain.
It is in view of the foregoing that Dr Chilufya said Government had put measures in place to avoid drug stock-outs in the country.
“If there are any shortages (of drugs) in facilities out there it means that there is somebody along the supply chain that is not being very alert and that’s why we are strengthening the supply chain, beginning from the procurement, the storage, the distribution and the ordering.
“So we are going to ensure that there is effective communication amongst all the stakeholders to ensure that ultimately we have the drugs not in Medical Stores but in the facilities available for our patients,” he said.
In another development, Dr Chilufya has disclosed that some of the nurses that were dismissed for engaging in an illegal strike recently had been readmitted and posted to various parts of the country together with newly qualified nurses.
Dr Chilufya said Government had given the dismissed nurses an opportunity to appeal against their sacking and that all the cases were considered individually, resulting in the readmission of some of them.
A check at the Ministry of Health headquarters human resource department in Lusaka on Friday revealed a growing number of both newly qualified and readmitted nurses impatiently waiting to receive their recruitment letters and to know which areas they would be posted to.
Times of Zambia