Minister of Health, Silvia Masebo has reiterated President Hakainde Hichilema’s call for ingenuity and innovations among pharmacists and other scientists to use their expertise to help the government manufacture vaccines and other key essential medicines and medical supplies.
Ms Masebo prodded the experts in the field of pharmaceutical manufacturing and supply chain to provide tangible solutions to the unending problems in the provision of essential medicines.
“The president has reiterated the desire for self-sustainability as the country cannot continue to import even the most basic medicines such as Paracetamol (Panadol) after 57 years of independence and has characterized this situation as a shame,” she said.
The Minister who was represented by Director Clinical Care Services, Alex Makupe made a call in Lusaka last evening at the 3rd Pharmaceutical Society of Zambia Annual Awards Gala night held at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre Kenneth Kaunda wing.
Ms Masebo also said the Awards Gala which was held under the theme “Excellence in Practice, Innovations and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing”, was was befitting as it aligns well with some of the current key priorities in the health sector
The Minister, however, emphasized on the need to be more innovativeness in order to achieve efficiency and resilience in the country’s supply chain.
Ms Masebo also commended pharmaceutical professionals for being actively involved in the production of hand rubs which were in scarcity at the at the peak of COVID 19 pandemic.
She applauded some pharmacists at Macha and Monze Mission Hospitals who have been producing IV fluids locally many initiatives developed to enhance the health of the people.
“I am told, this transdermal patch is a medicated patch that is placed on the skin to deliver a specific dose into the bloodstream. This patch will ensure that patients will no longer be required to take ARVs on a daily basis,” she said.
Speaking earlier, president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Zambia, Kennedy Saini commended the Ministry for ensuring that it resolves matters related to human resource and increasing the health sector budget in line with its activities which were progressive.
He said his organisation is cognizant of the truth that employing the full complement of healthcare workers proportionate with the needs of a full continuum of care is no easy task.
Mr Saini added that the few 1,000 pharmacists the country is currently hosting is a far cry from the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended ratio of one pharmacist per 2,000 population for optimum pharmaceutical care delivery.
Mr Saini however, stated the society will continue to engage the government and seek guidance in boosting the numbers in the light of professionals.