September 20, 2006

Malawi hit by shortage of drugs

Malawi’s health minister has revealed that the shortage of drugs and medical supplies continued to impact negatively on Malawi’s health delivery services. Minister Marjorie Ngaunje was quoted saying that government would ensure there was transparent and effective procurement of drugs. According to her, corrupt practices have led to mismanagement of the procurement and distribution of drugs and medical supplies at the Central Medical Stores (CMS). She added that the budgetary allocation to the health sector was inadequate to meet its requirements, adding that with the debt relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) more funds would be available for drug procurement.
Emergency arrangements have been made with donors to make drugs and medical supplies available during the period of September 2006 and October 2007. Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Justin Malewezi, called on government to allocate funding for medical services in Malawi. He said the fight against maternal deaths, malaria, TB and HIV and Aids remained difficult as financial resources could not meet the demand. (Rts)

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