Malawi has over 70 000 people  registered to be diabetic

About 70,000 people in the country are registered to be diabetic an indication that more might be affected by the disease.

Muluzi (L) and CMST officials during the official opening of CMST stakeholders annual meeting in Lilongwe

Speaking in Lilongwe on Thursday at the Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) stakeholder review meeting, National Diabetic Educator, Joseph Phiri pointed out that the numbers have been diagnosed with diabetic is alarming yet little attention is given towards the disease.

He believes that are a lot of people in the country might be suffering from the disease but give a blind eye or they don’t know.

“Only 70,000 of people are known to be diabetic. I am saying that the numbers of people suffering from this disease may be higher than we expect should people choose to go for check-up,” Phiri noted.

National Diabetic Educator emphasized the need for people to go for a check-up but urged government to open diabetes centre in the country and train more medical staff who should specialize in dealing with the disease.

He commended the Central Medical Stores for the review meeting as it will give them a platform to share the challenges that diabetes patients face.

“There is need for government to provide a diabetes medical center and train medical personnel who should specialize in diabetes. It is also important for the CMST to make sure that there is supply of the diabetes medicine in the hospitals and all centers to allow people to access the services,” Phiri added.

Minister of Health and Population, Atupele Muluzi who attended the meeting said CMST has the core mandate to procure, warehouse and distribute quality medicines and medical supplies to all public health facilities.

He said there are some clear areas indeed that need to be addressed to improve the management of medical supplies and that the review meeting will.

“My ministry has always tried to ensure that the strategic direction it has offered the Trust was clear and in line with the government’s national health strategic benchmarks,” Muluzi viewed.

The Minister said the support they are giving was for the newly incepted Trust to take up reforms aimed at revamping the national supply chain and restore confidence to effectively manage the supply chain.

“The CMST has a lot of challenges to respond to and there is unlikely to be a time when we can sit back and stop evolving. The management of the supply and logistics is a complete task that requires strong communications and effective coordination of customer, supplier and financier,” he said.

CMST Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Feston Kaupa said the annual review meeting was very important because it is a forum for the trust to present an annual report to stakeholders but also get the feedback from stakeholders on how their services are delivered to the people.

He said the trust exists to provide the service to the public on behalf of government and that it was an opportunity be accountable of what they offer.

“From the reports that we are going to present we expect constructive feedback, be it positive or negative as it will assist us help us to get energized and come up with solutions,” the CEO explained.

Kaupa disclosed that there are reforms taking place and that includes reforming the procurement unit and managing the warehouse capacity so that the trust is able to procure medicine required in all the hospital as requested by stakeholders.

“We will address all the shortfalls that stakeholders have raised and we promise that we will deliver the best despite some challenges that the trust is facing. For example, we owe some suppliers money which has caused them to hold some supplies,” he hinted.

The Trust was registered on August 16, 2011 after it was discovered that the previous organization had developed several problems. This led to the loss of donor confidence in the national medicine supply chain which in turn resulted in the disparate number of supply chains currently available in Malawi

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Ronald Vincent
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