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MBABANE – The Ministry of Health has started delivering drugs and medical supplies in the country’s health facilities.

This was revealed by the Minister of Health, Lizzie Nkosi, during a press briefing yesterday. Nkosi said the ministry had a meeting with its suppliers to try and forge a way forward aimed at mitigating the medicines shortages experienced by the health sector. She stated that the Central Medical Stores (CMS) delivered monthly supplies to health facilities following a weekly schedule.

According to the minister, deliveries started early last month. She said delivery began in the Shiselweni Region, followed by the Lubombo Region, the Hhohho Region, finally the Manzini Region and the cycle was expected to start all over again. Nkosi said there were still medical supplies that were harder to source, adding that the ministry continues with emergency procurement and deliveries. She encouraged health facilities to keep flagging low stocked items, as they were already doing.

The minister noted that not all the medicines and medical supplies had been delivered yet because of the lead times associated with medicine supplies. “Since medicines are perishable items, once the ministry has placed an order with the suppliers, they in turn place orders with their manufacturers who then proceed to manufacture the ordered medicines. This process is what leads to the delays in the supply of medicines,” said Nkosi.