Guest Contributor | Feb 27, 2024 | 0
New trucks boost health ministry’s ability to transport and distribute medicine
The Ministry of Health and Social Services has procured four trucks for the Central Medical Stores (CMS) worth N$10.6 million to increase the frequency of delivery of medicines and improve the capacity for the transportation and distribution of pharmaceuticals and clinical supplies throughout the country.
Further, to commemorate the National Day of People with Disability in Namibia on 10 June, the Ministry procured 420 wheelchairs of various sizes to be handed out to people with mobility issues in all fourteen regions.
The Minister of Health and Social Services, Hon Dr Kalumbi Shangula, said at a press briefing in Otjiwarongo that the CMS, a division within the Ministry’s Directorate of Pharmaceutical Services, is responsible for the planning, storage, and distribution of all pharmaceuticals and clinical supplies for use in all healthcare facilities in Namibia.
Before the acquisition of the four new trucks, CMS’ fleet of distribution vehicles consisted of only five government-owned trucks, according to Shangula.
Shangula said that the CMS’distribution network provides pharmaceutical and clinical supplies to about 40 health facilities on a six-week cycle. “This includes 21 of the 29 district hospitals, four intermediate hospitals, one national tertiary referral hospital, and two regional medical stores.”
“In turn, these regional medical stores and the facilities served directly by CMS supply pharmaceuticals and clinical supplies to the more than 350 health facilities, namely hospitals, health centres and clinics throughout the country on a four-week cycle,” he explained.
Shangula also emphasized the need to prioritize health care for people with disabilities to fulfil the goal and mandate set out in the Harambee Prosperity Plan II of leaving no one behind.
“We can only do so by increasing the mobility of Persons with Disabilities to participate in economic and social activities. This is in line with the WHO Guidance and Resolutions of the previous General Assembly dating back to 9 December 1975 and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which calls for the inclusion of Persons with Disability on countries’ development agenda,” he said.
Furthermore, he stated that the number of healthcare workers with appropriate expertise in disability-inclusive care is low.
“Through the annual budget allocation to the Ministry, funding is earmarked for assistive devices and wheelchairs. For persons with mobility challenges, the Ministry provides wheelchairs, crutches and other devices free of charge to those who need them,” according to Shangula.