Minisrty for CCTV cameras in pharmacies
In a bid to curb persistent shortage of medicines in public hospitals, hospital directors, district health officers and Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) have come up with resolutions and recommendations including the installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in pharmacies.
Other resolutions and recommendations are the computerisation of the system which will link departments with the pharmacy to ensure accountability, empowering hospital advisory committees, vigilance among Officers-in- Charge of wards and efficiency in the utilisation of available resources.
According to the statement that Secretary for Health Macpheal Magwira has signed, the Ministry continues to review its methods of operations in an effort to ensure sustained adequate levels of stocks of medicines and supplies in all public hospitals.
Magwira said, in a statement yesterday, the ministry held a meeting with controlling officers from all district and central hospitals as well as CMST.
“The main objective of the caucus was to review the whole supply chain system of medicines and medical supplies from source to the end user so as to identify and check shortage and pilferage. The ministry is happy to report that the meeting was very helpful in identifying factors that lead to shortage of the essential commodities aforementioned,” Magwira said.
He said the reviewing of the whole supply chain has the potential to minimise most of the factors that could lead to the undesirable shortage.
Magwira said the caucus made the resolution that all hospitals must be able to adhere to set deadlines for submitting orders to CMST.
Hospitals are expected to submit orders by 10th day of every month.
He also said the government has directed that with immediate effect CMST would be funded quarterly to assist it procure the medicines in bulk.
Executive Director for Health and Rights Education Programme in Malawi, Maziko Matemba, said the recommendations are good but the government should always be mindful of the human factor in the medicines’ shortage.
He said the recommendations should have considered the role that the mindset of both the health workers and the community members plays in the problem.
Matemba said the drug supply chain system in the country needs the urgent inclusion of a separate and non-state supervisory body.
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