Minister of Health, Sylvia Masebo, has called for urgent amendments to the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) Act and the Zambia Public Procurement Act (ZPPA) to address the existing challenges in drug procurement. During her visit to the Presidential Delivery Unit on Drug Supplies, Minister Masebo emphasized the need for swift action in streamlining the procurement process for drugs and medical equipment.
Minister Masebo highlighted the impact of the current legislative barriers, citing the example of the Ministry of Health’s inability to procure 100 ambulances due to constraints imposed by the acts. This delay has persisted for over a year, causing frustration within the ministry. Minister Masebo urged the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) to prioritize amending the acts to enable smoother procurement processes and ensure the timely acquisition of essential medical resources.
Recognizing the criticality of the health sector and its direct impact on human lives, Minister Masebo stressed that the lengthy procedures resulting from the current legislation severely hinder the ministry’s operations. By addressing these challenges and revising the relevant acts, the PDU can significantly improve the efficiency of the drug procurement process.
Christopher Matipa, a member of the PDU on Drug and Supplies team, shared insights from their discussions on drug supplies. The team has identified 14 major challenges that impede the drug supply chain in the country. During their workshop, they have already identified 22 potential solutions and aim to identify more. These solutions will be implemented to enhance the drug supply chain across Zambia.
Deputy Chairperson of the PDU on Drugs and Supply, Chipo Mwanawasa, expressed gratitude to Minister Masebo for her timely advice and assured her that the team is dedicated to addressing the raised issues. They are committed to implementing the necessary changes to improve drug procurement and supply in the country.
The collaborative efforts between the Ministry of Health and the Presidential Delivery Unit are expected to bring about significant improvements in the efficiency of drug procurement processes. Through the amendments to the ZAMMSA and ZPPA Acts, the government aims to streamline the procurement of essential drugs and medical equipment. This will ensure the timely delivery of healthcare services to the population and ultimately contribute to the well-being of all Zambians.