The Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) has said it needs K40 billion (US$88.9 million) annually to adequately perform all its functions.
CMST board chairperson Evelyn Itimu said this in Lilongwe at the trust’s first annual general meeting (AGM) which was held at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) yesterday.
She said the trust continues to face financial challenges such as dealing with recapitalisation and injection of new money to meet its requirements for procurement of drugs and medical supplies.
Said Itimu: “The approved medicines budget for 2014/2015 is K14 billion against an estimated national requirement of K40 billion. CMST operational cost estimated at 20 per cent of the national requirement has often been omitted in the national budget figures.”
She, however, mentioned that the trust has made improvements in procurement of drugs and medical supplies compared to 2013.
Minister of Health Jean Kalilani who opened the AGM expressed hope the meeting would constructively’ review progress made by the trust.
She said: “CMST needs constructive feedback to properly implement reforms as a public trust. As government, we will always create an environment for your optimum operations and have already opened such channels with development partners and other stakeholders.”
Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) recently asked government to re-examine its dependence on donor funding for drugs saying CMST only contributes 10 percent of drugs in the country’s hospitals.
CMST is a public trust that sources medical supplies for public hospitals across the country.