A TASK force has been set up in collaboration with law enforcement agencies to reduce on the pilferage of medicine while in transit or at stores and by enhancing the security system, says Ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr Peter Mwaba.
Dr Mwaba said this in an interview yesterday in Lusaka after he received cholera kit valued at K500,000 from the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
He said that there have been incidences where medicines have been pilfered from trucks whilst in transit or at the stores and that it was for this reason that a task force had been put in place working together with local law enforcing agencies so that the scourge was put to a halt.
Dr Mwaba said that security at the Medical Stores Limited (MSL) has also been enhanced so that stocks were monitored electronically.
“We have come up with a task force in collaboration with the law enforcement agencies and we have enhanced security to see to it that stocks are monitored electronically,” he said.
On the prevention of cholera which is spreading to some parts of Lusaka, he said members of the public must continue practising preventive measures such as the washing of hands and drinking boiled and chlorinated water.
Dr Mwaba said that the cholera support from UNICEF would go a long way in curbing the disease and that the main focus for now will be Lusaka Province while other standby materials have since been dispatched to other provinces in case of an emergency.
And UNICEF representative Dr Hamid Ibrahim said Government must look into the long term solutions to address the outbreaks of waterborne diseases which frequently occur in peri-urban areas thus affecting the poorest and most vulnerable population.
Dr Ibrahim said UNICEF has also enhanced the operations of the Bauleni Cholera treatment centre by providing protective clothing.
She said that the diarrhoea kit contains medicines, medical consumables and equipment, ORS and intravenous fluids.
“The kit is designed to treat 500 people, that is 100 severe cases and 400 mild or moderate cases. UNICEF has also provided 200 gumboots, 200 work suits, 10 plastic sprayers and an allowance of K45,000 for staff allowance to enhance operations of the Bauleni Cholera centre,” she said.
Dr Ibrahim said that UNICEF had provided 343,308 x 250mls of liquid chlorine, 2,800 kg of granular chlorine, 12,500 water quality testing kits and 30 portable water testing laboratories.
And Medical Stores Limited managing director Dr Borniface Fundafunda thanked the Ministry of Health and UNICEF for their unwavering support to fight cholera.