Tuesday, July 23, 2024

The Zambia Medical Association urges govt. to introspect on drug shortages


The Zambia Medical Association (ZMA) has implored government to extensively introspect on the reported shortages of drugs in health facilities across the country.

ZMA General Secretary Roy Tolopu said the shortage of drugs in healthy facilities, indicates that the current stock levels of 53.1 percent falls way below the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended stock volume availability of 70 to 80 percent.

He said this in a statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today.

Dr. Tolopu has since urged government to consider declaring a state of emergency in the health sector in order to invoke disaster management provisions in the procurement of essential drugs and allied substances.

He stated that without an emergent approach to the urgent national matter, many lives may be lost.

Dr. Tolopu notes that’s losing lives in such a manner will be counterproductive to the economic gains made by government especially in the last one year.

The Association has meanwhile appealed to law and policy makers and responsible officers in the line ministry to de-politicize the health sector and reflect on the old adage that says a healthy nation is a wealthy nation, and every life matters.


  1. Now you have seen that there is no medicine in hospitals ehhhh when the citizenry said there is no medicine in hospitals you did not want to accept it…now even machines to do certain test for patients like Levy Mwanawasa the equipment’s are not working.
    The health Minister is a wrong person.

  2. Although I understand this point of view, this is a perennial problem which stems from a very shortsighted and selfish approach to healthcare planning by governments since independence. Until voters begin penalising any government that sends any official for healthcare abroad, by voting them out, this won’t stop. Everything has to change in Zambia, starting with removing and replacing the Constitution which the weakest link. These shortages should spar innovation, not begging. Not all drugs need licences to manufacture but equipment. These are turn-key projects which should be done by indigenous businesses, not foreigners, if we have to see the back of this problem.

  3. I don’t think that the situation requires the declaration of a state of emergency. HH must just take action and put the correct person to head that Ministry. Sylvia Masebo has failed and what has compounded the situation is her toxic relationship with the people she’s supposed to lead. Sylvia can’t lead and the records are there. She failed at the Ministry of Local Government and she did the same at MoH and now she has done it again. There’s nothing to defend otherwise Bally will go down with her. There are many people who can easily fill her position. Christopher Kalila easily do it. Bally shouldn’t wait until it’s too late to take action. Let her go back to LCC where they were fighting everyday with bena Chilambwe

  4. The ZMA is supposed to help the Ministry of Health especially the Minister to try and help improve the availability of drugs and equipment. It does not benefit anyone to be talking to the press and amplify the challenges being faced by those responsible to procure with drugs.
    The drugs maybe available but how will pilferage be stopped? This is one hurdle that has to be dealt with before drugs are available.
    What happened to the much publicised Health insurance? This was supposed to generate funds so that the population can have access to medical services at a reduced price.

    • NHIMA is working well for its subscribers. If you read the Parliamentary Report will see notice that the few available drugs have been procured through NHIMA. However, not all citizens subscribe to NHIMA and they’re the most affected. It’s not compulsory to enroll with NHIMA

  5. Mr Know everything HH is just all talk no substance…..let’s get rid of all Politicians I think they’re a big hindrance to our development Lungu PF out….HH UPND out….all Politicians out of office

  6. They also need to work on the massive theft of drugs by health workers. It is suspected that most of these private pharmacies survive on stolen drugs from govt

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