Mana — United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef) Wednesday re-affirmed drug support to communities in the country.
This follows revelations that Primary Health Care (PHC) project - which was introduced by donor community in 2011 to respond to drug shortage problems that rocked the country is earmarked to phase out in November, 2013.
This was disclosed during a series of sensitization meetings conducted in Mzimba on Monday through Wednesday.
This was after communities expressed concern that phasing out of the project might lead to drug shortage problem in the country's hospitals and health centres.
Addressing participants on Wednesday in the area of Traditional Authority Mzukuzuku, Unicef Development Communications OfficerDennis Chiwaya emphasized that the project was initiated to respond to drug shortage crisis.
"The core purpose of the project was to respond to an emergency on drug shortage. Let me assure you that everything is being taken care of because the project cannot phase out while the crisis is still there," said Chiwaya.
Chiwaya commended the communities for the sense of ownership on the drugs that have been given to them since inception of the project.
However, Traditional Authority Mzukuzuku described the project as one of the best for the rural communities.
"I can assure you that even deaths caused by Malaria and other curable diseases have absolutely gone down in this area because of the drugs," said the T/A.
Mzimba District Hospital spokesperson Ellings Nyirenda confessed that it was a big challenge for a district hospital to procure drugs for health centres before the project was introduced.
Under PHC project, government contributes 55 per cent towards purchasing of the drugs, the sum is channeled to Central Government Medical Stores to sustain the project when the donors shall fully pull out. The meetings were jointly done by Ministry of Information and Ministry of Health.