National Democratic Congress Leader Chishimba Kambwili has urged stakeholders in the public domain to be cautious when it comes to disseminating information bordering on health.
An exclusive interview with Diamond News, Dr. Kambwili said that wrong information can make the public in rural areas to shun health care services.
After vising Medical Stores in Lusaka and interacting with authorities at the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority, Dr. Kambwili said that he was assured that the government is not dispensing expired medicines to various health centers.
The NDC leader was reacting to news that Zambia was supplied with expired medicines
On Friday Dr. Chishimba Kambwili on Friday paid a prompt visit to the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority offices in Lusaka following media reports from News Diggers newspaper regarding the supply of medicine by Honey Bee to the Ministry of health which had allegedly expired so that he could get first-hand information before commenting on the issue.
According to the statement released by the party’s Deputy Media Director Kirby Kaoma Musonda, Dr Kambwili wanted to get first-hand information on the issue.
Below is the statement released by the Party
NDC LEADER PAYS MEDICAL STORES & ZAMRA A PROMPT VISIT
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Party President Dr Chishimba Kambwili on Friday 11:09:20 paid a prompt visit at the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority offices in Lusaka.
This follows some stories that were written in the newspapers and social media regarding the supply of medicine by Honey Bee to the Ministry of health which had raised a lot of questions.
Dr Chishimba Kambwili received a lot of queries from journalists. As per tradition, before he responds to any information, he takes time to inquire from credible sources, hence the visit.
Upon arrival at the offices, the NDC leader was welcomed and immediately taken to the conference hall were he met Mr Bonaventure, a Director in laboratory Services, Mr Siyanda Mwatamani, Assistant Director Licensing Surveillance and a Mr Mwape, public relations manager.
After introductions from management, Dr Chishimba Kambwili introduced himself as being the NDC President and also introduced his media personnel who accompanied him. The NDC leader further said his visitation to the institution was for the sake of verification on a trending story on drugs being expired and losing color. The NDC president also mentioned that concerning the same, he also paid a visit to medical stores as there are claims that these medicines might be poisonous.
“I saw it prudent to visit your offices here as am aware that government has given you a mandate to look into the quality of drugs in the country. Concerning the stories in the media, have you received any samples brought in for testing, and what have been your findings?” Dr Kambwili asked.
ZAMRA explained that the authority had a duty of making sure that the public was protected from harm. ‘Before any medicines are brought into the country, there are processes which take place in terms of evaluating products from the information point of view. When ever medicines are being imported in to the country, importers submit applications here and they are scrutinized to insure what is coming in is acceptable and to make sure that is what has been applied for. Upon these medications reaching our boarders, we take samples and bring them to our labs and some tests are conducted. What ever is the outcome of the tests its communicated to the importer and importers are advised if at all the medicines are acceptable or not. If not, importers are immediately asked not to bring in the particular medicine in the country and it’s recalled off the market. At the same time, we also do samples from hospitals and retail pharmacies. This is an ongoing process and it’s done on regular basis. If any issues are found on drugs, we do contact them and such drugs are recalled off the market and we closely monitor the recalling of the drugs and other medical items. We also visit manufactures of products and carry out what is called goods manufactures inspection and tests are conducted,” the ZAMRA representative explained.
“In terms of the drugs in question from Honey Bee, we sampled it and we actually have two kits here which you can have a look at, we have been analysing and doing investigations and ZAMRA is doing everything possible to make sure the issue is resolved overboard. And we have already written to the supplier over the investigations,” the management said.
After the meeting, the NDC leader was happy with his visitation and the response he was given by management and thanked management on behalf of the people of Zambia on the great role they are playing in the country.
Dr Chishimba Kambwili promised management that he would pass on the information he got from ZAMRA through media houses.
After the visitation, scores of workers at the institution took time to take selfies with the NDC leader.
Issued by: Kirby Kaoma Musonda NDC Deputy Media Director