NatPharm must ensure critical medication is delivered across the country to prevent the loss of lives and must boost its fleet, Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro said yesterday.
NatPharm recently got the mandate to procure all Covid-19 consumables for the Government and this raises the stakes for the company as the country’s response depends on its competence.
Dr Mangwiro was commissioning two new trucks bought by NatPharm to enhance service delivery.
“I am told NatPharm currently has a fleet of 27 delivery trucks, eight of which are cold chain vehicles. The addition of two more vehicles will bring the total to 29 vehicles,” he said.
“These trucks are anticipated to mitigate challenges such as unexpected breakdowns, resulting in delays and missing delivery targets in the supply chain of medicines.”
Dr Mangwiro said the two UD Croner 8 Tonne trucks were purchased for US$200 000 which was sourced internally.
“We need to encourage NatPharm to do better. They should expand and get more trucks to make sure all branches have the capacity to deliver medicines timeously,” Dr Mangwiro said.
“We do not want people in Zimbabwe dying because of delays in the delivery of medicine.”
NatPharm board chairperson Dr Billy Rigava said the unit was committed to ensuring that they play their role in the smooth delivery of health services in the country.
“This is what we have managed to do with the resources we have. We raised the money to buy the trucks from transporting, warehousing and procurement services, which we offer.
“We want to appreciate the help we get from our shareholder and development partners, but we do not want to be cry babies who beg every time. We have started working towards equipping ourselves with the tools we need to execute our mandate,” Dr Rigava said.
He said the company has the capacity to service the whole country and reach the remotest clinics although there is need to keep procuring vehicles as some of the trucks are now old.