Drugs availability in Malawi hospitals normalising- Minister

Government says drugs availability in hospitals is normalising following the delivery of 80 percent of medicine and other pharmaceutical which the Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) has procured following the recent open tenders.

Minister of Health Catherine Gitano Hara told reporters at a news conference in Lilongwe.

“We have had a lot of supplies through well-wishers; I would like to thank Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda for the initiatives she carried out sending SOS to the world over. We have received medical supplies that we have been sending to our various hospitals.

“The President went to the United Kingdom and she managed to get 16 million pounds of drugs,” said the minister.

Hara said President Banda and Ministry of Health officials have let CMST to work independently and did not interfere with the process of awarding contracts in the emergency tender.

Gotani Hara:  Reduce the drug stock-outs
Gotani Hara: Reduce the drug stock-outs

Meanwhile, the trust has cancelled contracts for some of the suppliers who have delayed their deliveries by April 16, 2013 deadline. CMST will have their contracts offered to the next highest bidders.

According to Hara, government is still working to ensure that they get to its optimum level as there are a lot of supplies through CMST.

She added that government has not reached to its optimum level in as far as drug supply into the country is concerned as it is still working to ensure that hospitals in the country have enough drugs.

MST chief executive officer Feston Kaupa said the 80 percent drug shortage in CMST warehouses does not translate into similar level of drug shortage in hospitals because there are also other drug supply initiatives like donations and donors’ medical kits programme.

UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) head of office Sarah Sanyahumbi said some of the drugs DfID has procured were expected in Malawi on Tuesday to further help improve the drug situation in central hospitals while other consignments will arrive later targeting central hospitals and all district health offices.

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