The Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) recently conducted a comprehensive engagement with the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA), seeking to gain insights into the authority’s functions, communication strategies, systems, challenges, and its pivotal role in the pharmaceutical supply chain.
During the visit, Ms. Kusobile Kamwambi, the Permanent Secretary at Management Development Division, Cabinet Office, and Head of PDU, underscored the significance of stabilizing the drug supply chain as a top priority for the government.
She expressed the PDU’s commitment to ensuring the availability of quality medicines across all health facilities.
“While our records indicate progress in terms of drug supply, with hospitals showing a commendable 95% drug supply on paper, the actual situation in some healthcare facilities may not align with these figures, leading to customer dissatisfaction,” Ms. Kamwambi stated in her opening remarks.
ZAMRA’s Director-General, Mr. Siyanga Makomani, welcomed the PDU delegation and expressed gratitude for their interest in understanding the authority’s mandate.
Mr. Siyanga elucidated on ZAMRA’s multifaceted role in the drug supply chain, encompassing the granting of licenses to manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers, import controls, marketing authorization, inspection of storage facilities and pharmacies, and the crucial monitoring of medicine safety.
However, Mr. Siyanga also highlighted a significant challenge faced by ZAMRA – the shortage of staff. Insufficient staffing levels over the years have hampered the authority’s operational efficiency.
The Presidential Delivery Unit serves as an accelerator, ensuring that implementing agencies for priority areas are executing their roles effectively to meet developmental targets.
The collaborative efforts between the PDU and ZAMRA aim to address challenges in the drug supply chain and streamline processes to enhance the overall healthcare landscape.