Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Pharmacists applaud Health Minister on changes at Medical Stores

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The Pharmaceutical Society of Zambia says it strongly supports and welcomes Health Minister Dr. Jonas Chanda’s efforts to reform the health sector.

Society President Kennedy Saidi noted that the announcement of transitioning Medical Stores Limited (MSL) into Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) is laudable.

“We are extremely excited as we have been on record calling for this milestone as we know that this move if well implemented will cure the main problems in the public pharmaceutical supply chain system by ensuring transparent procurement of medicines and medical supplies,” Mr Saidi said.

“With this important development, we envisage that this shall ensure procurement of only safe, quality and efficacious medicines and medical supplies and ultimately lead to enhanced efficiency and ensuring value for money,” he said.

Mr. Saidi has since assured Dr. Chanda of maximum support to ensure only safe and efficacious medicines and medical supplies are procured while at the same time ensuring value for money.

“Further, we would like to urge the Honorable minister to ensure that recruitment of substantive CEOs for these very important institutions namely ZAMRA and ZAMMSA is done in the most transparent and ethical manner in order to ensure merit selection of competent Pharmacists. We wish to state that we shall watch these recruitments very closely.”

He added, “As stated earlier in our congratulatory massage to the Honourable Minister of Health, the PSZ is hopeful and feels justified under the present circumstances for the ministry to ensure the establishment of the directorate of pharmaceutical services at its helm must be a Pharmacist to bolster pharmaceutical leadership at the national level that shall ensure prevention of such future occurrences.”

“We earnestly appeal for the creation of a directorate of pharmaceutical services as one of the seven directorates and employment of more pharmacy personnel in the Ministry of Health that will no doubt enable optimal pharmaceutical service delivery to the Zambian people in line with the government desire for quality health services for all.”

Mr Saidi stated that the trimming down of directorates from seventeen to seven at the Ministry’s headquarters is a commendable and welcome move to enable efficiency.

“We strongly believe that a lean and smart number of directorates enhances efficiency and reduces costs. However, with approximately over 40% of recent total national health budgets going towards the pharmaceutical sector, this clearly demonstrates the importance as well as justifies the re-establishment of this critical directorate. M We believe that it’s re-establishment will create confidence among the Zambian people in that they will receive high standard of pharmaceutical care and services as well as quality medication to optimize their health outcomes.”

Last week Health Minister Dr. Jonas Chanda has dissolved the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) Board with immediate effect. Dr Chanda has also announced that Medical Stores Limited will change to the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency.

Speaking during a media briefing in Lusaka, Dr. Chanda said that the government is saddened by the recent acts by the institution to put people lives at risk as a result of what he described as negligence.

He said that it is the duty of the government to ensure peoples’ lives are safeguarded adding that any institution that will oppose the enshrined law of the country regarding health matters will not be spared.

Dr. Chanda has since announced that ZAMRA will be replaced by the Zambia Medical Supply Agency (ZAMMSA).

“The commencement of ZAMMSA will promote an efficient and cost-effective system for the procurement, warehousing and distribution of medicines and medical supplies as a public service provider rather than a profit-oriented entity established under the Companies Act.. Procurement functions will now move from Ministry of Health to ZAMMSA,” Dr Chanda said.

The Minister who is also Bwanamkubwa Member of Parliament further explained that the operationalization of ZAMMSA is expected to ensure timely availability of medicines and medical supplies in public health facilities.

And Dr Chanda has announced that he will soon appoint the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Board in the coming days in line with the ZAMMSA Act since the old Medical Stores board no longer exists by virtue of this transition.

“The mandate of the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority is regulating medicines for public and animal health protection.

“However, the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority has not performed in line with its mandate and to the expectations of the people of Zambia, Government and our stakeholders,” Dr. Chanda stated.

Dr Chanda charged that the recent happenings at the institution hinging on medicines and supplies quality issues and other governance matter are unacceptable and could have been avoided.

Dr. Chanda said his ministry will consult the Attorney General on the way forward regarding the Honeybee contract adding that the nation will be informed in due course.

He explained that the matter to do with the issuing or revoking licenses of pharmaceutical supplies such as Honeybee lies with the ZAMRA.

The Minister of Health stressed that the health sector is being realigned to make it more responsive and fit for purpose in driving the transformation agenda towards Universal Health Coverage.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Where are these societies when Chilufya and his PS were raping MOH with corruption…they just know how to applaud and bootlick

  2. This is applaudable development. We have always said that in the fight against corruption, we will deal with anyone without fear or favour regardless of their status in society. This is a good example of this. Well done and continue on this path.

    I would like to take this opportunity to ask you all to participate in this voting pattern surveY:

    ALL THOSE THAT WILL OR PLAN TO VOTE FOR THE UPND, CAN YOU PLEASE UPVOTE THIS COMMENT. ALL THOSE WHO WILL OR PLAN TO VOTE FOR THE PF CAN YOU PLEASE DOWNVOTE THIS COMMENT. Thank you

  3. why are we applauding them for cleaning up their own mess? Moreover, was not that fat pig in fact promoted to some parliamentary after having pilfered $17 million from the people?

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