Appearing before the Parliament’s Health Committee, the General Manager of National Media Stores (NMS) Mr. Moses Kamabare has told legislators the government will experience a funding gap of Ug.shs. 298.5 bn to have adequate stock of drugs in all government hospitals across the country as donors stop funding medical supplies.
Kamabare was presenting a budget framework paper of the institute for the next financial year. He said NMS will need an additional Ug.Shs. 35.17 bn to purchase malaria drugs, Ug.Shs.13.2 bn for TB medicines and Ug.Shs. 4.9 bn to attain more coverage for immunization services. NMS will also need another Ug.Shs. 37.7 bn to buy mama kits and family planning drugs and Ug.Shs. 31 bn for ARVS.
According to Kamabare the donors who include PEPFAR have already put NMS on notice that they will scale down funding starting next financial year .
Kamabare said that government should increase funding to purchase essential medicines for health centers and hospitals .National referral hospitals need an extra Ug.Shs.7.8 bn, regional referral hospitals Ug.Shs. 9.9 bn, general hospitals Ug.Shs. 21 bn; health center IV Ug.Shs. 12.8 bn, health center III Ug.shs. 23 billion while health center II Ug.Shs.16 bn.
He said that plans are underway to install an oxygen plant at NMS by the end of this year . Kamabare also informed the MPs that due to poor uptake of the Covid 19 vaccines , about 20M doses will soon expire .
The MPs told the NMS management to revise their budget upwards noting that the Ug.Shs,40bn requested for malaria treatment was too little given the disease burden and the population growth . The MPs also expressed concern at the high rate of expired drugs and noted that the country was losing a lot of money.
“Is it a problem of procurement . Do you buy drugs that are about to expire to keep the costs low ?,” queried Bulambuli district woman MP Irene Muloni .
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