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Minister dates District Health Officers again

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Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume will from Monday meet District Health Officers (DHOs), drug procurement officers and other relevant stakeholders in the health sector to map the way forward in dealing with the deteriorating health service delivery in the country’s public health facilities.

The minister told The Daily Times Saturday that there is indeed shortage of some essential drugs, including in referral facilities, but was quick to suspect inefficiencies in the procurement system as the setback to the success of his ministry.

“If you go to the central hospitals, the most powerful drugs are not readily available and I have seen this with my own eyes when I went to Queens and Zomba Central.

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“There are those problems but I think there are inefficiencies in our procuring system apart from the global shortage of those particular medicines, not only in Malawi but also in other countries,” said Kumpalume.

During a recent Times Exclusive programme on Times Television, host Brian Banda asked Finance Minister, Goodall Gongwe, if government is adequately supporting the Ministry of Health to carry out its operations.

The Finance Minister ’s response was that he is equally surprised to hear that there are drug shortages and other challenges in health facilities, saying his ministry has given the health sector extra funds.

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But in response Kumpalume said that is the more reason he is meeting officials at the Central Medical Stores Trust, local districts finance committees, the Treasury, Ministry of Health and DHOs to resolve all the inefficiencies in the sector.

“The idea is to sort this problem out once and for all. We need to eliminate these bottlenecks. We know there are inefficiencies in our procuring system. So, it’s not a one man show, not only people who order the drugs but also the DHOs who are the customers of the Central Medical Stores because they are the ones who say we need this, so we need to hear their voices as well,” said Kumpalume.

“We need to look at things the DHOs ordered but they were not supplied and the things that the DHOs did not order but they are there at the Central Medical Stores Trust and look at how we can go about it. There must be an engagement between stakeholders who are working in the same sector for the betterment of the health service delivery,” he said

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