CATHERINE MUMBA, Lusaka
THE Medical Association of Zambia (MAZ) says there is urgent need to invest in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to effectively manage drugs and stop thefts by health workers.
On Saturday, President Lungu warned health workers against pilferage of medicines in public hospitals and clinics as this endangers patients.
MAZ president Aaron Mujajati said in an interview on Sunday that the introduction of ICTs in the distribution and management of drugs will help in tracking the commodity, thereby making it easy for those in charge to account for it.
Dr Mujajati said the pilferage of drugs by health workers has been an ongoing problem which can only be resolved by strengthening security systems to monitor the supply chain.
“The observation by President Lungu is something that we have also noticed, so what we would like to see is a stronger security system especially in the supply chain like it is done in other countries through ICTs because much of this theft is at the clinics,” he said.
Dr Mujajati said it is good that the highest office in the land has also noticed the problem saying this is a big step in addressing the problem.
He said issues of management in the drugs supply chain and transportation also need to be looked into.
“The factors that affect shortage of drugs in our hospitals are many. Sometimes you will find that the Medical Stores will have the drugs but they are not in the clinics where they are supposed to be on grounds that there isn’t adequate transport to cover the whole country,” Dr Mujajati said.
He appealed to Government to tighten security in the transportation of drugs and ensure that more trucks are given to Medical Stores Limited.