By Salome Gangire
Government says it is satisfied with 76 per cent availability of essential drugs and medical supplies the Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) has in stock at its warehouse in Mzuzu.
Minister of Health and Population, Jappie Mhango said on Friday after touring CMST warehouse in Mzuzu to appreciate the operations of the trust in Northern Region.
“I am glad that in terms of stock levels, the trust is above 76 per cent and this is very commendable as far as drug availability is concerned.
“You may recall that we are coming from a background of acute shortage of drugs,” Mhango said.
He said this means the region has enough medical cover and government is committed that CMST gets enough resources for enhanced drug availability.
“It is the wish of the ministry and government that Central Medical Stores Trust works effectively. As we speak, we are working toward that and not long from now we will see some development in that area,” he said.
The minister described CMST as an important institution, saying that was why government wants to ensure it has the resources required for it to deliver services to the citizens.
Board Chairperson for CMST, Hilda Singo said though there is remarkable progress, there is need that the institution reaches 100 per cent drug availability.
She said at the moment, CMST is only provided with drug budget (money that is meant to procure drugs only).
“For any institution to work efficiently and effectively, it needs to have resources. At the moment CMST is not provided with any resources and we are only given the drug budget with no operational cost,” Singo said.
She disclosed that they have been in discussion with government through their parent Ministry of Health and Population, and the Treasury to come up with a separate budget to finance the operations of the institution.
CMST is responsible for managing supply chains of medical drugs and equipment in the country.