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Zimbabwe to be a regional distributor of medicines

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Story by Kenias Chivuzhe

THE National Pharmaceutical Company (Natpharm) is moving with speed to construct more warehouses across the country as part of government’s drive to improve health service delivery.

Government is targeting to have Natpharm warehouses in all the country’s provinces as part of its decentralisation programme.

One such facility has been completed in Mutare, with Natpharm Board Chairperson, Ms Ruth Kaseke, who toured the warehouse this Saturday, outlining the roadmap towards government’s target

“The Manicaland warehouse is almost complete as they are just doing finishing touches and we are looking forward to commissioning the one in Masvingo which is already complete. We are hoping to start construction of the Mashonaland East warehouse before the end of the year as resources have been put aside. As we go into 2024 we will start construction of the Mashonaland central warehouse. The construction of provincial hospital in Mat North is at an advanced stage with a warehouse construction being part of the process,” she said.

The broader objective is to turn the country into a regional medicines distribution hub in the SADC region.

“We are also have relationships with international organisations and manufacturing companies. We recently signed an MOU with Iran and we have a working arrangement with Egypt. We also have a working arrangement in the offing with Indonesia so that we also become their distribution centre not only in Zimbabwe but in the SADC region. We are planning and hoping that we can be the hub of distribution within the SADC region and that will mean more resources to save the people of Zimbabwe,” she added.

Government is also satisfied with increasing compliance by public entities to the Corporate Governance Act which has reached 75 percent from 60 percent.

“Our public entities have made significant strides in terms of compliance with the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act. We did a survey in 2020 which shows overall compliance at 54 percent to 60 percent. This was followed by another compliance survey for 2022 the results are due to be published,” said Permanent Secretary Responsible for Corporate Governance in the office of the President and Cabinet, Mr Allan Choruma.

He added, “This survey is also showing an improvement in the level of compliance to about 75 percent. It means we have gained a lot of traction in terms of compliance. Natpharm is doing well. In terms of production of audited financial statements, they have just finalised the 2022 financial year.”

Apart from construction of the giant warehouse in Mutare, government has also spearheaded construction of health facilities across the province as well as upgrading of the existing ones to improve health delivery.