HEALTH Minister Joseph Kasonde (c)
HEALTH Minister Joseph Kasonde (c)

MINISTER of Health Joseph Kasonde says the shortage of drugs at some public health facilities is artificial and has been created by mismanagement in distribution.

Dr Kasonde said in an interview that an investigation instituted to ascertain the cause of the recent reported shortage of drugs revealed that figures show that there is an improvement in drug distribution.

“At the same time that we have been experiencing shortages of drugs in some health facilities in Lusaka, the same drugs are found at Medical Stores of Zambia,” Dr Kasonde said.

He said investigations on the reported shortage of drugs in Lusaka revealed that medical personnel are prescribing medicines that are available at private clinics.

Dr Kasonde assured people that the distribution of drugs will be more efficient after the actions that his ministry has taken.

“We expect that the supply of drugs will be back to about 30 percent because of the measures that have been instituted by the ministry to address the shortage of drugs,” he said.

Dr Kasonde, however, said that management of the supply of drugs still remains an issue that needs to be looked at even more seriously.

Recently, President Lungu directed Dr Kasonde to institute investigations on the reported shortage of drugs in some health facilities in Lusaka.

And Dr Kasonde says no one has complained about shortage of drugs but that the challenge is access.

“The key to that is no-one is complaining that there are no drugs in the country but the problem is the lack of access because Government has made it clear that it would pump a lot of money into the sector,” he said

He was speaking in Lusaka on Wednesday when he officiated at an awards-giving ceremony for Cola Life Zambia Health Innovation.

The United Kingdom (UK)-based charity run by Simon and Jane Berry was awarded US$370,000 for its pioneering work to bring affordable diarrhoea treatment called Kit Yamoyo – ‘kit to life’ to remote rural areas using the supply and distribution and networks normally used to transport soft drinks and other essential products such as sugar and cooking oil.

Dr Kasonde said he is excited by this innovation of bringing the anti-diarrhoea closer to the rural communities because, normally, access is usually the biggest challenge of his ministry and is very close to his heart.

“Innovation is the song of this period that is why this man and lady is the greatest gift for me last Christmas, this Christmas and next Christmas,” Dr Kasonde said

The anti-diarrhoea kit made up of oral rehydration salts (ORS) and Zinc is produced in 200ml sachets as opposed to the one litre sachet that were produced , which resulted in wastage as not of all of it would be consumed in a day by a child.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. Finally government taking responsibility for its ineptitude. This is criminal people are dieing due to lack of medication and all the circus crew can say is it was mismanagement? Who the heck is in charge of this circus government? We told you so.

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    • Whether artificial or real the shortage of essential drugs in health centres should be condoned at all. It should not be there in the first place. Either way it shows poor planning on the part of the government.

      If its artificial, heads of those responsible must roll. If its real , PF government needs to intervene urgently before more people lose their lives needlessly.

      PF under Lungu is just another Uchimbwi no plan reloaded.

      This shortage of drugs was reported by ZWD, the accurate on line publication some good 5 weeks ago, but no one from the PF took any notice.

      We are headed for more misery for sure. With the fast depreciating Kwacha which the PF minions are masking as a global trend, things are really gonna get tough for Zambians in a few weeks and months to come.

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    • This is not a new thing. Drug shortages have been perpetual under PF and no one gets punished for it that’s why it has become an acceptable norm in Zambia.

      Go to UTH and you will see how people die like flies. Only in Zambia can you find peoples lives have no dignity. Despite all of this’ the same characters are brought back in cabinet for the sake of appeasement for campaign efforts.

      Another disappointment from a so- called president Lungu

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    • Hon. Kasonde’s explanation makes no sense at all and needs to be taken to task further. He says the drugs are at MSL but supply will only reach 30% after the interventions by MoH! MSL cannot distribute what it doesn’t have. A quick check at clinics and MSL will show a mistach between what is actually needed and what is supplied.The burden on the sick as they have to procure drugs have an adverse effect on their households. There is clearly a drug and commodities supply crisis and we need a much more thorough investigation into the quantification, product slelection, procurement, distribution and utilisation proceses. The Minster should be bold and get additional experts to assist both at MoH and MSL.

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    • this guy kasonde doesnt know what he is talking about,,,, ati artificial!,,, the shortage is caused by stup!d mismanagement

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    • Please HEECL we appeal to you to fire this Minster of Health, CEO oof MSL and his PS health immediately and hold them accountable for failing to manage this sector adequately. People are suffering having to borrow to pay for drugs and services. We need a revamp of the entire MoH leadership.

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    • That’s what people voted for isn’t?These are the issues which should have been brought up during the campaigns but all we did was shout ‘Infintu ni lungu” and label other people who genuinely had solutions for this nation as tribalists.

      As long as we allow marketeers ,ngwangwazis,Kaponyas to determine the destiny of this nation,NEWS FLASH! ZAMBIA IS HEADED TO BE A FAILED STATE.

      In the meantime go to UTH pharmacy and shout “ifintu ni lungu” and you will see the drugs falling from the ceiling.

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    • Ba Zambia finshi mulefwaya natwishiba fwe bene eeeeh Lungu eeeh Lungu eeeh Lungu eo tulefwaya x2

      Let’s keep on singing this song guys till we run out of breath…..ni Lungu chabe…

      And Lungu is Angola bound….PF at work,what else can we say?????? 2016 Zambians should try HH

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  2. There r sum pipo hidin or keepin medicine at their home.bt hon.kasonde,when will I b appointed? I need a job as well

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  3. Dr Joseph Kasonde is not talking as a professional health practitioner but as boot- licking incompetent nominated Member of Parliament. He’s saying this for his belly’s sake.

    How can he say it’s artificial and yet in the same breath acknowledge that drug supply is not at 100 per cent. He is senile and should be dropped in national interest!

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  4. Kasonde and his MoH has taken leave of his senses. This is the same man who presided over the firing of nurses. The buck stops with him and should shoulder full responsibility and resign. Otherwise Lungu should make this his first dismiss8al. People are dying and he calls the shortage artifical. Kasonde’s brains must be artificial. Nega Nega formula 2016 won’t work for PF with such people on board.

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  5. Lets be frank in what we say to the public. The real issue is that MSL was undertaking stock take and so in their little wisdom management decided to suspend issuing of drugs to health facilities. The result of a prolonged process was wide spread stock out of essential drugs in facilities across the country. The MSL MD’s excuse was that they expected facilities to travel to MSL to collect drugs themselves. Very lame excuse i must add but even if that was the plan, this was never communicated to anyone. Not withstanding preparing the facilities to ensure they have adequate funding to cover costs for travel, per diems, fuel, lodging etc from their places of work to Lusaka. Yes commodities are available at MSL but seemingly even within this institution there are numerous management issues.

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    • I thought this Dr. Fundafunda being a professional would do better. Such is foolish management on his side. Its on him.

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  6. Cry my beloved country. ‘the shortage is just artificial’ and the next thing PF will be say is “people are dying artificial death at UTH” what a government….PF HAS FAILED

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  7. Imagine if there are shortages in Lusaka what the shortages are like in the rural clinics. From personal experience in Eastern Province, people are going without basic malaria meds and children are lacking vaccinations.

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  8. This is only the tip of the iceberg of the level of mismanagement at Medical stores, Ministry of Health and health facilities like UTH. Everything from funding, human resoucres, drug supply, planning, service delivery have been in crisis for the past 3 years. Facilities go months without funding or drugs. The MoH needs a total overhaul . Its immoral and its about time the Minister of Health stepped aside or got pushed aside for his lack of leadership and decisiveness.

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  9. I am worker in the Ministry of health and Medical stores has not sent Essential drugs kits to districts for the last three months and the latest delivery has no kits when most essentials are not delivered apart from condoms.
    Minister if this is nonsense Lungu is going to entertain then as a country we are doomed.Why cant the media houses visit these centers to confirm for themselves.
    What Medical stores shows are empty boxes and boxes of condoms to deserve the public.
    In conclusion country men all health facilities have no drugs and people are dieing.Let not this minister fool you.Buts its in Zambia where vision less people are voted into power.No one should comply.live with it.

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  10. Nonsense, there is no such as an “artificial shortage”. Poor management and theft the hallmark of PF. Everything they touch turns to dust. Even those roads they shout day and night about are already getting potholes. Zambians live with it this is the rubbish you voted for!!

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  11. Zambia you will surffer in the manner that you wanted it. I thought there people of knowldge and wisdom to stand for there people,you have show yourselve to be killers.

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