The Ministry of Health and Child Care says it is concerned about the current shortages of essential drugs and is re-engaging the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to improve foreign currency allocation to the pharmaceutical sector in order to avert a health crisis.

Few weeks after the outbreak of the cholera epidemic which is now largely under control, the Ministry of Health and Child Care has another fresh headache to deal with as drug stocks are running out putting the health of millions of citizens at risk.

The drugs situation is getting dire according to the Pharmaceutical Society of Zimbabwe (PSZ).

Addressing delegates attending the 2018 PSZ annual conference in Victoria Falls, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr John Mangwiro said the ministry is aware of the crisis and is engaging the apex bank for an immediate intervention.

“The ministry on its part its working tireless in lobbying for increased allocation of resources and indeed foreign currency to the pharmaceutical sector by the central bank to ensure continued supply,” he said.

Stakeholders who graced the conference said government should urgently address the drug shortages by prioritising allocation of the limited foreign currency towards procurement of the medicines as stocks have fallen to very low levels.

“We demand urgent action from government as the situation is getting dire with each passing day. The limited forex should be channelled towards procurement of drugs,” said some pharmacists.

Meanwhile, Dr Mangwiro saluted members of the PSZ for their contribution to the local healthcare system and disclosed that going forward the ministry has resolved to fill up all the established positions for pharmacists in district and provincial hospitals which for long had remained vacant.