Government has admitted that the national stock position of medicines and medical supplies is currently critically low caused by many factors including high disease burden, inadequate funding and huge drug debt over the years.
Acting Minister of Health Ambrose Lufuma says although some facilities may still have required essential medicines and medical supplies, national supply position is at emergency point.
Mr. Lufuma said to improve the availability, the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency has undertaken 15 procurements so far including anti cancer, ARVs and Anti malaria medicines among others and has so far received anti malaria drugs, IV fluids, ARVs and assorted products of the blood transfusion programmes.
In a Ministerial statement to parliament on the drug situation in the country, Mr. Lufuma said of note is the completed procurement for the supply and delivery of essential medicines and medical supplies budgeted at over K217 million of which delivery will start this month with procurement of 42, 000 health center kits undertaken and delivery expected sometime in October.
Mr. Lufuma who is also Defence Minister said ZAMSA has in addition called off orders on Ministry of Health contracts that were scrutinized and transferred to the Agency and from these they have received deliveries of pain killers, blood building supplements, anti diabetes medicines and antibiotics.
Meanwhile, Mr. Lufuma said government has released K2.3 billion to ZAMSA to facilitate for the procurement of both emergency and routine long term framework based contracts in order to achieve stability in drug supply.