Malawi’s Deputy Minister of Health Halima Daudi on Tuesday made a surprise visit of Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) to check stock of medical drugs.
The minister, who was accompanied by senior officials from her ministry, had a two hour closed-door meeting with CMST chief executive officer Feston Kaupa.
In an interview after the meeting, Daudi said her visit was meant to find out the level of stocks at the CMST and progress.
She said: “As government, we want to make sure that drugs are available in all hospitals and this place here is where drugs are stored and also procured. There has been a story of drug shortages. We are here to brainstorm and find ways of how we can sustain drug availability in hospitals.”
Daudi said her visit was also meant to find out the challenges faced by CMST and how government can assist in finding solutions.
Kaupa described the visit as very fruitful.
“We were excited to have the deputy minister visit us as it did provide us the opportunity to channel other challenges we are facing and also the success we are making,” he said.
On the drug situation, Kaupa said they will have enough essential drugs for the next 18 months.
He said there is another tender in the pipeline by DfID through Charles Kendall and Partners (UK-based Procurement Agents and Development Project & Programme Managers).
“It is worth about $28 million. The first tranche is for about $8 million and will be handled as an emergency. The rest will follow,” he said
Kaupa said the challenge they are facing currently is of the parallel supply chain. This was in reference to how those supply chains contribute to misprocurement (too many stocks than projected), sometimes leading to wastage.