Treasury finalising US$20 mln drug imports
Harare(New Ziana)-The government is finalising modalities for a US$20 million facility to be used to import medicines for public facilities, as the government moves to improve access to health services, a senior official has said.
The country’s appointed agent for procurement, storage and distribution of medical supplies to public health institutions, the National Pharmaceutical Company recently suspended operations owing to foreign currency shortages.
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development permanent secretary George Guvamatanga told journalists that the government was doing a lot to revamp the entire health delivery system.
“We are finalising another facility for $20 million that will see lots of drugs coming into the country starting from next month over and above many other facilities we have had at the beginning of the year to bring in the necessary medicines and consumables that are required for the health sector,” he said.
Guvamatanga said Treasury was working closely with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to ensure that all resources required by the sector were provided.
“The equipment that was brought in from India about four months ago is being commissioned. That is also state of the art equipment that includes incubators, mobile X-ray machines and all the other equipment that is actually required to run modern day health facilities.
“There will always be isolated cases where we run out of bandages in one corner of the country but that is not a reflection of government position to the situation,” he said.
Speaking at a health investment stakeholders’ meeting in New York, the United States recently, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said his government planned to create a world class health delivery service as part of an ambitious plan to provide universal healthcare in the country by 2030.
That, he said, involved the construction and equipment of healthcare facilities in both rural and urban areas to reduce distances people traveled to access services to no more than 10 kilometres.
In total, the government plans to build 6 600 health care centres in the next five years, mainly in marginal areas, with much of the financing coming from the National Budget, as well as AIDS and other health levies.