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Medical Drug Situation Normalized?

LILONGWE: The official position of the Ministry of Health is that the drug supply situation in most public health facilities in Malawi is stabilized and normal following phase one delivery of essential drugs provided by donors recently.

However, players on the ground insist that the system still needs supply of other drugs as access has only been enhanced to drugs for diseases that are common such as malaria and not sexually transmitted infections for example.

Ministry of Health spokesperson Henry Chimbali said so far, most health centers in the Southern region, Lilongwe urban and rural health centers and Kasungu district had received supplies as of Friday, January 13.

Mr. Chimbali also said government fulfilled its obligation to ensure fuel supply for delivery of the drugs through Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority.

After receiving the drugs on Friday last week, January 6, Mr. Chimbali said distribution begun on Wednesday such that most of the health centers in Lilongwe, Kasungu, the South and Northern region got drugs as of 13 January.

On the contractual arrangement that government should make available 3,00 litres of fuel every week for speedy delivery of the drugs, Mr. Chimbali said government is meeting the obligation.

“We made arrangement with Puma with support MERA, they assisted us to make sure we deliver the drugs so for the first consignment, and there has been an availability of fuel to make us possible that we deliver the drugs to different areas.

Mr. Chimbali says the second phase of the consignment will arrive in the country either on 18 or 19 January.

He said the availability of the drugs from donor partners have supplemented the shortfall government has been experiencing.

“The availability of drugs in various facilities has been at some point interrupted but we believe that with this support , most of the facilities are going to have a continuous supply of drugs so that people can access them every time,” said Mr. Chimbali.  - Zodiak Online

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