The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has written Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) demanding disclosure of companies involved in the latest supply of medical essentials amid concerns that forex scarcity has affected procurement of medical supplies.
In a letter addressed to CMST Chief Executive, Dr Chikaiko Chadzunda, CDEDI wants CMST to make it clear on its stand so as to put right what is in public domain.
In the interest of transparency and accountability, CDEDI has since challenged the trust to seize the opportunity to inform Malawians on the state of the medical supplies in public health facilities and how it intends to maintain the supply chain in the face of the forex crisis.
“We are looking forward to hearing from you Sir, within the next seven (7) days,” reads the letter signed by CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa.
According to Namiwa, his organisation has reached this extent after independent investigations recently revealed that the CMST has not procured essential drugs and medicines and that this has led to acute drug shortages at referral and district hospitals not to mention of Health Centres.
Namiwa added that the CMST has run out of IV-fluids (Drips) which are critical in the health delivery services and now in the treatment of Cholera outbreak that has hit some parts of the country.
“It is against this background, that in line with the Access to Information (ATI) law, we write your office demanding records on the last time the CMST floated tenders for bulky supplies,” says Namiwa in the letter.
Additionally, he has demanded CMST to make public the list of companies that participated in the tender for medicines, a list of companies that were awarded the contracts as well as a list of companies that successfully delivered the medicines.
Malawi has been hit by acute foreign currency (forex) crisis that has led to speculation over availability of essential medicines and drugs in the public health facilities.
CMST is yet to confirm receipt of the letter. The organisation was in the limelight recently for disposing expired medicine when at the time before expiry more health facilities were reportedly lacking a number of essential drugs that were enlisted on the disposed roll.