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State ‘cures’ expired drugs malaise

KELVIN CHONGO & PRISCILLA MWILA, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT has assured co-operating partners in the health sector that the procurement of expired drugs will not recur.
Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya said that the expiry of drugs was due to the mismatch of the implementation period for the new anti-retroviral therapy (ART) guidelines.
He was speaking at the annual consultative meeting for Ministry of Health and co-operating partners in Lusaka yesterday.
The Auditor-General’s report revealed that the Ministry of Health procured expired ARVs and laboratory commodities in 2015.
Dr Chilufya has assured that the situation has been remedied.
“Our desire is to invest in people so that they are healthy, productive and drive our nation’s socio-economic growth through human capital as evidenced in the 30 percent increase budgetary allocation to our ministry in 2017,” he said.
Dr Chilufya also said that Government has this year released K45 million to address any debt relating to procurement of drugs.
He said Government prioritises the health of citizens as a key economic investment that should spur the nation towards becoming a prosperous middle-income nation by 2030.
Dr Chilufya was responding to concerns raised by British High Commissioner to Zambia Fergus Cochrane over the expired ARVs.
The minister said the ministry of health will engage other line ministries and stakeholders to leverage resources to attain desired goals in the health sector and strengthen investment in the supply system to enhance service delivery.
Mr Cochrane said Zambians have the right to access adequate healthcare services.

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