By Memory Chatonda, MANA
Minister of Health and Population, Jappie Mhango on Wednesday assured Malawians of availability of drugs in government health facilities across the country.
Three weeks ago, there was outcry over shortage of drugs in hospitals,especially intravenous and intramuscular antibiotics like penicillin, ampicillin, metronidazole and ceftriaxone which are used to treat severe bacterial infections.
Speaking after touring Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) on Wednesday in Blantyre, the minister said patients need not to worry as the problem has been addressed.
“We had shortage of essential drugs in government hospitals because there was delay in medicine procurement process by CMST.
“However, the problem has been resolved and patients across the country can now access any type of drug without problem.
“The CMST currently has almost 79 percent stock of all the drugs we require and this is adequate to supply to all government health facilities. However, we are still contemplating to increase the percentage stock in near future,” he said.
CMST Chairperson, Hilda Singo concurred with the minister, saying currently the trust is dispensing drugs to health facilities.
“Normally, we get funding from government to procure drugs. However, recently we experienced delay in our funding, a situation which affected the procurement process of medicine from our suppliers.
“But the problem has been addressed and that CMST has so far received the first consignment of medicines which are being dispensed to health facilities,” she explained.
CMST was registered on August 16, 2011 after it was discovered that the previous organisation (Central Medical Stores) had developed several problems that led to the loss of donor confidence in the national medicine supply chain.