DEPUTY Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya yesterday directed Medical Stores Limited (MSL) to immediately start considering newly-created districts as ordering points of drugs to avoid supply constraints being faced when getting medicines from other towns.
And Dr Chilufya further directed that areas that are usually cut off during the rainy season must be prioritised in the distribution of drugs and related health kits and supplies.
He advised MSL to be in constant communication with people manning frontline health facilities.
“A number of facilities in new districts are still collecting drugs and other supplies from ‘old’ districts resulting in supply constraints. Some facilities are still receiving old quantities but this needs to be addressed because essential drugs must be in stock at all times,” Dr Chilufya said when he toured the MSL warehouse in Lusaka.
“We have a situation in which Mafinga is still receiving drugs under Isoka but this should change and all new districts must become ordering points and receive on their own.”
He said MSL should also adjust ceiling requirements that are distributed to facilities to avoid outages.
“Firstly, let us invoke a sense of emergency when responding to calls from frontline health facilities whenever they need drugs and related supplies.
“Secondly, let us revise the ceilings because certain requirements have exceeded, for instance, in Kasempa’s Lunga area when drugs are received, they share with several health posts resulting in a month’s supply finishing within a week,” Dr Chilufya said.
“Lastly, it will be tantamount to sabotage if drugs run out at any facility because budgetary allocations have been made and I want to say that we have 10 months’ stock of ARVs (anti-retroviral drugs) for both adults and pediatric formulations.”
And MSL managing director Boniface Fundafunda said the institution is in the process of strengthening the supply and distribution chain.
Zambia Daily Mail