The Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) has expressed deep concern following recent reports of thefts of vital medical supplies and equipment in the country, with two Ministry of Health officials arrested in connection to one of the cases.
According to the Zambia Police, two Ministry of Health officials working at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka have been taken into custody on suspicion of stealing 40 boxes of Latex Gloves from the hospital.
This incident has further raised alarms, coming just days after reports of the theft of assorted equipment, including embalming chemicals, from the Lukulu district hospital mortuary.
ZAMMSA’s Senior Manager for Public Relations, Bradley Chingobe, emphasized the gravity of these incidents, stating, ZAMMSA feels this seriously undermines our mandate to ensure that all public health facilities are firmly equipped with medicines and medical equipment across the country.
He further explained that such acts of thievery do not only deplete valuable resources from the health facilities but also deprive those in need of medical attention from accessing quality healthcare services.
With the recent procurement of Health Center Kits from Missionpharma and the bulk purchase of various medicines and medical equipment from Egypt, ZAMMSA anticipated a sufficient supply of medicines.
It is therefore imperative that citizens should safeguard these commodities to ensure they meet the needs of the intended end users.
Chingobe implored the general public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities or malpractices they may be aware of to the nearest law enforcement agencies.
He also stressed ZAMMSA’s unwavering commitment to ensuring the seamless supply of quality and cost-effective medicines and medical supplies.
The theft of medical supplies not only has financial implications but, more importantly, poses a severe threat to the healthcare system, as it hinders the delivery of essential medical services to the people who rely on them.
ZAMMSA’s call for vigilance and accountability serves as a reminder of the collective responsibility to protect the nation’s healthcare resources for the well-being of all citizens.