Health Minister assures CMST of Govt support

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Mana 

The Minister of Health and Population, Jappie Mhango, has assured Central Medical Stores Trust – CMST of the government’s total support in its operations.

Mhango gave the assurance in Lilongwe during his familiarization tour at the institution where he commended the progress that CMST has made since it started its operations in 2012.

Previously, the institution was operating at five percent stock of medicines and drugs by January 2013.

“You will recall that there was a time when this institution would operate at small scale of drug availability, but now that has been raised to around 76 per cent,” the minister said.

CMST replaced Central Medical Stores (CMS) in 2010 to overcome the operational, financial and governance challenges of its predecessor.

The minister said he was aware of the challenges that the institution is facing and that has already started engaging the concerned parties on several requests that the institution made to the ministry.

“As a ministry, we have assured the team here that we will ensure all the issues they have raised are looked into critically and together ensure that we deal with all these issues,” said Mhango.

“So that’s what we should be doing in the next few weeks, few months but I can assure them that this is what we will make sure is done and is done as soon as possible,” he added.

CMST board chairperson, Hilda Singo, cited the existence of a decentralised drug and medicine supply system and inadequacy of finances for operations as major challenges the institution is facing.

“We have several supply chains for medicines and these are distorting the management of drugs in the country. As a result, you find that some drugs which are coming, for example, through donors are free.

“When they come into the country, the facilities will prefer to take these drugs because they are free and at the same time, CMST has medicines that the facilities ordered for purchase,” Singo said.

Singo explained recapitalisation in the sense that currently, CMST receives only funding for procurement of medicines and drugs and it has to fend for itself on operations, which it does by putting a mark-up on the drugs which it sells to facilities.

She, however, stated that this is not sufficient because it puts a burden on the end users.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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