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Legal battles and lengthy procurement processes have negatively affected the availability of pharmaceuticals in public health facilities.

This is according to the Health and Social Services Executive Director, who says the battles have over the years disrupted the procurement of medicines, leading to shortages.

The Executive Director was speaking at the Annual National Pharmaceutical Services Forum at Walvis Bay.

It is a platform to discuss critical aspects related to pharmaceutical services.

Nangombe says Namibia is engaging manufacturers from different countries, but the request might not be met because of low quantities.

"The quantities that Namibia would require may not necessarily be sufficient to trigger the manufacturing processes in those countries because our quantities are lower; therefore, we will probably find ourselves in situations where we are literally compelled to still deal with either the distributors or suppliers these manufacturers will point us to. But what we want to do is put in place modalities that are going to make it possible to deal with the backlogs and stockouts that we have been experiencing."

The Deputy Minister, Utjiua Muinjangue, said that although there are problems, the ministry has implemented multiple strategies for a steady supply of medicines.

"This includes securing long-term contracts for critical items such as ARVs, finalising requirements to source products through pooled procurement mechanisms, exploring bilateral co-operation with different countries to increase purchasing options for specialised or rare drugs, and obtaining approval for direct procurement pending finalisation of awards by the Central Procurement Board of Namibia for major line items." 

They say the availability of stock challenge is receiving attention at the highest level, and a solution is being crafted.

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NBC Digital News

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Renathe Rengura