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Quick shake-up needed at NMS

By Vision Reporter

Added 21st August 2010 03:00 AM

The Auditor General’s report on National Medical Stores (NMS) has embarrassing revelations that can only be described as obscene.

THE Auditor General’s report on National Medical Stores (NMS) has embarrassing revelations that can only be described as obscene.

The latest report for financial year ended June 30, 2009 shows that billions of shillings are wasted on buying, storing and eventually destroying the drugs we do not need when the vital ones like for malaria are in an everlasting short supply.

Drugs worth sh6.7b expired between July 2005 and June 2008 in NMS alone.

Sh36m was wasted on storing drugs we do not need and sh700m in eventually destroying them.

In many ways, this leads to shortage of essential drugs and the rural poor, who rely on Government health facilities, suffer most.

Lives are lost, the population gets frustrated and Government gets a bad reputation unnecessarily. It is evident from the report that the period that experienced the most acute shortage of malaria drugs also had the highest mortality rates.

In an opinion poll conducted by New Vision recently, the respondents indicated that the shortage of drugs in government health facilities was one of their most pressing problems that politicians must address while campaigning for the 2011 elections.

It is time to deal squarely with the mess at NMS and whoever else is responsible for the shortage of essential drugs. The Auditor General’s report should be taken seriously.

The recommendations of the report should be discussed and implemented quickly to avoid further frustration. We need to stop the problem of drug shortages once and for all.

Quick shake-up needed at NMS

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