Govt receives drugs in US$20m deal

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© THE government yesterday received the first consignment of medicines and medical consumables under a US$20 million deal sealed between NatPharm and a Swiss-based firm.

The arrival of the much-needed drugs and consumables comes as Zimbabwe is facing its worst crisis in over a decade which saw restive public sector workers — including junior and senior doctors — embarking on several strikes last year.

The Swiss firm, Drax Segl Consult — shipped several containers of drugs and kits — which arrived at the Robert Mugabe International Airport, last night.

Health and Child Care minister Obadiah Moyo said he was in a meeting whilst Treasury secretary George Guvamatanga was not answering his phone.

Moyo, who was appointed minister of Health and Child Care at a time that most public hospitals were experiencing serious challenges such as shortages of drugs, consumables and creaky equipment — had a torrid time last year.

He struggled to deal with many issues that ordinary people and indeed health professionals expected him to handle.

Among these was the need to break the cartels which unfairly cut deals with overseas suppliers of drugs — thereby locking out other Zimbabwean companies from importing drugs and consumables.

Industry players, especially retail pharmacies, blamed the high cost of drugs on these cartels which allegedly work in cahoots with senior ministry officials to maintain their “monopoly”.

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