By Annie Zulu

 PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has called for a steady supply of drugs in hospitals.

And he said procurement of drugs should not be an emergency, but planned for by the Ministry of Health.

The President was speaking at State House yesterday when he swore-in newly appointed Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary in charge of administration Dr Kennedy Malama, who until his elevation was the ministry’s spokesperson.

“Procurement of drugs should be well planned, we don’t need to panic when there is an emergency. Drugs should always be available,” President Lungu said.

He expressed confidence that Dr Malama would perform to expectation because of his experience in the health sector.

Mr Lungu instructed that procurement of drugs was Dr Malama’s responsibility, and did not want to hear excuses of lack of resources to buy drugs.

He said the Ministry should ensure they convince the Ministry of Finance why they should be funded before others.

President Lungu said he had observed that certain Ministers and Permanent Secretaries easily gave up when told that the Ministry of Finance did not have money.

He noted that there was some laziness in the execution of tasks by officers in some ministries.

“I have noticed that some officers in some ministries easily give up, when it comes to getting funds, but I don’t want to be given the same old excuse that the Ministry of Finance has no money, officers should not easily give up, and they should instead convince the Ministry of Finance why they should be funded first before other ministries.

“All sectors, be it Education, Agriculture, Health need funding and ministries should justify why they should be funded, but some ministries are not convincing,” President Lungu said.

President Lungu cautioned Dr Malama to always be available and take full charge of the ministry’s administration issues, stressing that functions without supervision was a recipe for failure.

And Dr Malama thanked President Lungu for having confidence in him.

He assured that with 23 years’ experience in the health sector, he would not re-invent the wheel, but would be driven by the Seventh National Development Plan which had devised the national health strategic plan for the health sector to be launched this Friday.

“As a sector, we should not wait for people to fall sick before we move in, our focus shall continue being on ensuring that we promote health and prevent disease. Those who are falling sick, then we take care of them, and also prioritize in rehabilitation and evaluation, but in terms of importance, our focus is to promote health and prevent disease.

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