HEALTH Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Lackson Kasonka says government is committed to the provision of sufficient funding for quality essential medicines and medical supplies.
Speaking during the inaugural session of the National Supply Chain Review Meeting in Lusaka, Professor Kasonka said government will seek out essential medicines and medical supplies that are professionally, efficiently and cost effectively procured, stored and distributed as close to the families as possible.
“To achieve this goal, the government through the Ministry of Health has put up the following strategies; To improve efficiency and responsiveness in the procurement of medicines and medical supplies,
the government has realigned procurement function of medicines and medical supplies from Ministry of Health to Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency,” said professor Kasonka.
Prof.Kasonka further revealed that the ministry has also established the medicines and medical supplies fund to support the procurement of medicines and medical supplies for public health facilities.
The Permanent Secretary also noted that the National Health Insurance Management Agency was established whose purpose, among others, is to pay for the cost of insured healthcare services accessed by the members.
“The accredited public and private health facilities are getting reimbursements for medicines and medical supplies that are on the approved list to assure commodity security,” he added.
He explained that government has increased the medicines and medical supplies budgetary allocation from ZMW1.4 billion for 2021 to a record high ZMW4.6 billion in 2023.
Prof. Kasonka stressed that to ensure the quality provision of medicines and medical supplies, the government through the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority has expanded the national laboratory and that it is in the process of attaining World Health Organization pre-qualification status.
“This will improve the global status of regulation and quality control of medicines,” he said.