THE Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) has implored Government to prioritise the capacitation of pharmaceutical companies to ease obtaining shortages of drugs in the country.
Speaking to The Herald, CWGH executive director Mr Itai Rusike said while Government policies on drugs were very robust, there was an urgent need for it to avail foreign currency to capacitate local drug manufacturers.
"CWGH appreciates Government policies on essential drugs and equity in health which have over the years widened access to treatment," he said.
"However, it is evidently clear that hospitals and clinics are facing critical shortage of drugs. It is our view that Government needs to inject foreign currency into local pharmaceutical companies which include; Caps, Datlabs and Varichem, among others to enhance their drug production capacity.
"At the same time we are saying there is need for a deliberate intervention to control drug prices, which continue sky-rocketing and are currently burdening consumers countrywide.
"For instance as an organisation, we have been monitoring issues to do with leakages, thefts, improper use of drugs in the health sector and submitting reports to Government for further action."
Mr Rusike said his organisation was rolling out a number of community health literacy programmes on the use of drugs.
He encouraged Government to promote whistle-blowing in the health sector to curb artificial shortages of drugs in health institutions.
"Further, it is also our humble view that essential drugs must be ranked with energy and fuel as priority claimants of foreign currency," said Mr Rusike.