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Government explains drug stock outs

PARLIAMENT: The government has attributed the stock out of basic drugs in hospitals, to lack of coordination between the ministry of Finance and national Medical stores.

Speaking to journalists at Parliament on Thursday, the State Minister of Health for General Duties Sarah Opendi said that the technology at NMS was not supported by the Integrated Financial Management System used by the ministry of Finance.

As a result, the drug distribution agency was yet to receive money since the commencement of the financial year.

“NMS has been operating as an autonomous institution, and it would access funds anytime but this financial year, the directive was that NMS be transferred to the current INFMIS,” she said.

However, the shift caused a crisis because the two systems are yet to be merged.
According to the minister, National Medical Stores have their own software that instantly records supplies and necessary information in line with requests from hospitals.

However, the system is not collaborative with the integrated system at the Finance Ministry.

She said, following the meeting, an arrangement was made to deliver medical supplies to all health facilities by close of business tomorrow (Friday).

“We quickly sat and resolved that NMS operates with their old system temporarily as they see how to integrate the directive,” said Opendi.

She added that: “We hope that the drugs will be reaching the countryside and all health facilities will have supplies as planned.”

Daily Monitor reported on Wednesday that many hospitals across the country had been hit by drug stock outs, mainly maternal commodities such as oxytocin drug used to stop post-delivery haemorrhage; gloves, syringes, and catheters.

This reporter was yet to independently confirm whether the government had started implementing the said resolution by press time.

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