Lack of coordination leads to shortage of medical supplies: Nangombe

01 Aug 2019 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 01 AUG (NAMPA) – A lack of coordination between the central medical stores and health facilities has resulted in the shortage of medical equipment and medicine, Executive Director in Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), Ben Nangombe, has said.
Addressing MoHSS staff members here on Thursday, he said the distribution from the medical stores in all regions is the main obstacle for the supposed lack of health passports in clinics, tablet dispensing bags and medicine.
“Before they [hospital and clinic personnel] have confirmed with the central medical stores (CMS) or regional stores, they say they have a shortage of this and out of stock of that but in fact when you phone central medical stores, you will find out it is there,” Nangombe explained.
Previous media reports stated that MoHSS ran out of health passports and tablet dispensing bags, however, Nangombe said there were over two million bags and a plethora of passports.
The lack of coordination causes a panic in the country, which prevents patients from seeking assistance at the hospitals, the executive director noted.
As interventions for the procurement dilemma, MoHSS has approached treasury for an exemption to purchase pharmaceuticals, which was approved. The ministry is also working on a turnaround strategy to change the operations of CMS to make it stricter and improve forecasting as well as management of logistics.
Speaking on the procurement area, Nangombe pointed out that it is prone to insider dealings, dishonesty and corruption, but vowed to address the matter.
“I am confident that before this year is out, the availability of pharmaceuticals in Namibia is going to change drastically,” he promised.
Nangombe said as a solution to the lack of equipment, MoHSS is considering to lease magnetic resonance imaging machines, for which they have to send patients to private health facilities instead of procuring their own because it is more cost effective.