Thursday, June 13, 2024

Masebo bemoans theft of medicines in health facilities


Minister of Health Silvia Masebo has bemoaned the theft of medicines and medical supplies in public health facilities  which contributes to drug shortages in public health facilities.

Ms Masebo says pilfering of medicines is a matter of concern and urgency as it undermines the efforts of the government to provide quality healthcare services to all.

Speaking when she opened a consultative meeting on the theft of medicines and medical supplies in Public Health Institutions, Ms Masebo stressed that thefts of medicines are not only illegal but also unethical, as it directly affects the lives of the most vulnerable members of society.

Ms Masebo said thefts of medicines and medical supplies from public health facilities, deprives patients of the much needed care and treatment of their ailments which may lead to disability or death.

She said the government has reaffirmed commitment to the provision of equitable access to quality, safe and effective medicines, vaccines and medical supplies for people, which are affordable in line with the National Drug Policy.

She said to achieve this,  the Ministry of Health, with other cooperating partners, has for a long time invested substantial amounts of money in the public sector pharmaceutical supply chain.

She added that this is evidenced from the increased budgetary allocation for the health sector from 1.2 billion to 4.6 billion for the procurement of medicines and medical supplies in the 2023 National Budget.

” With this increased financing the availability of medicines and medical supplies is expected to improve in all health facilities as we have all witnessed the arrival and distribution of 7000 health centre drug kits to all Districts and health centres across the country.” She said

The Minister said all  efforts are being done in order for the country to be commodity secure but it is sad to see various factors that are creating gaps in the availability and access to essential medicines and medical supplies.

She reiterated that  shortages of medical supplies from public health facilities also frustrates the efforts of dedicated healthcare workers who work tirelessly to ensure quality services are provided for the people.

She said that the Ministry of Health through a multi sectoral approach has arrested 70 people with 35 convictions of which 26 are health workers.

The Ministry has further taken a step to write to the Health Professions Council of Zambia to have those convicted be deregistered.


  1. The only deterant is big jail terms for the thieves…… make an example of them.

    Stealing has become a way life for civil servants

    • This disaster of a woman is always blaming someone else other than accepting her incompetence. Just the other day it was the recall of medicines bought from an Indian firm, but we have not had a statement from her explaining exactly how those medicines were procured…it’s a pity her boss doesn’t have the nuts to fire her as he is equally incompetent.

  2. This theft of drugs goes back more than 30 years
    Nurses were the main culprits in the past but now most medical staff

  3. Another sign that heterosexuals have failed to govern this country. Time to give us homosexuals a chance so that we show you are how serious and hardworking we are.

  4. Masebo is moaning instead of solving the problem. She is the minister and she is in office to provide solutions to such problems. Otherwise she is screaming “I have failed!” and HH isnt listening.

  5. Question is how did she come to the conclusion that thefts are the cause of drugs in our health institutions? What method did she use to conclude? Did she know the amount of drugs distributed and how many patients were prescribed? If so, then she should summon the medical superintendent of a particular institution and take him/her to task using proven actuals. Otherwise she should stop boring us with unsubstantiated accusations?

  6. Take time to visit Cancer diseases hospital Hon. Masebo, that way, you will understand its not just drugs being stolen but the whole lot of problems e.g. broken down machinery, demotivated staff, missing files, missing results, frustrated staff, water challenges, poor lighting system in corridoes around entire UTH. The institution has lost its former glory.

  7. Simple solution is to arrest them. If a mere thief gets 2 years for stealing Bibles & bricks at a church, what will stop these thieving civil servants to get 2 years too for stealing drugs meant for the public. You’re the Minister you can not sit there moaning push the police, dec & acc to arrest these thieves. We’re not interested in your moaning Honerable

  8. Masebo it is easier said than done.. Upnd thought Pf was full of dull people.. Looking at what is currently’s in fact the opposite iam sure the majority of Zambians will agree with me. These are the consequence of voting for people who have no clue of what government functions…

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