Makgatho says 100% drug availability possible


Botswana can achieve 100 percent drug availability in health facilities. But this has proven impossible for the Ministry of Health (MoH) because of ineffective and old processes.

Parliament heard this week that drug availability in health facilities is at 89 percent (vital 91.6 %, essential 87.2 % and Non-essential 87.7 %).

The Minister of Health Dorcas Makgato said it is difficult for MoH to achieve 100 percent drug availability because of challenges that include the “use of manual inventory control records which coupled with the high mobility of the population, lead to inability to accurately quantify drug needs at facility and national level.

Weak supply chain management system and shortage of specialised pharmaceutical personnel and support staff for maintaining the supply chain management system at health facilities”.

She however, noted that an average drug availability of above 80 percent can adequately cover health needs of the nation because there are always equally effective alternatives that can be prescribed in a case where a drug is not available.

Makgato said one of their initiatives is strengthening the supply chain management system, something that the ministry has taken as a priority. “It has led to the development and implementation of a five year medicines supply chain strategy, outsourcing of the Central Medical Stores warehousing and distribution system.

We are introducing framework contracts, weekly monitoring of drugs availability levels at hospitals and training of health workers and support staff in good inventory management and procurement practices,” she said.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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