The Sierra Leone House of Parliament on Thursday 28th June 2012, passed into law the bill entitled the National Pharmaceutical Procurement Unit Act, 2012. The bill is intended to bring sanity into the supply chain management through procurement, management, distribution and storage of medical equipment and drugs for all government medical entitles in Sierra Leone.
Presenting the bill to the House Members of Parliament, the Minister of Health and Sanitation (MOHS), Haja Hawa Zainab Bangura said, her Ministry was mandated to procure, supply, distribute and store drugs that are meant for the people of Sierra Leone.She informed that, the bill will enhance transparency, accountability and availability of drugs to every corner of the Country. She revealed that, since the Free Health Care service was launched there has been so many challenges including theft, Sabotage, distribution and storage facility. The minister went on, the bill will serve as a propelling prosperity to address all those problems.
She furthered that the bill required setting up of an autonomous body, self financing as a board under the MOHS to provide essential services that will yield dividend. She said, for them to achieve this goal, they have hired the services of Crown Agent, a well known institution from abroad to render assistance in the newly created autonomous entity.
The Minister also informed the entity will have specialists from various areas including Civil Society, health professionals, Procurement specialists, Accounting, International Non- Governmental Organization and other professionals as well.According to her the community people at every Village and town will be having an agent that will give them reports of his or her health centre.
“It is going to be community ownership” the Minister concluded.
Hon. Julius Cuffie of the ruling APC described the bill as master piece and went on to say that, some members of the Opposition SLPP in their Pre-legislative committee commended the bill. The MP said the MDG-4 and MDG-5 focuses on universal health and such a wonderful bill will respond to achieving such by 2015.
Hon. PC Jeremaih Yovonie representing Moyamba District calculatedly told the entire Honourable House that he was supporting the bill on behalf of all the Paramount Chiefs and the people living in Chiefdoms across Sierra Leone. He described the bill as a long awaited one that will lay to rest the medical problems in all the remote areas. He noted that, for years drugs hardly reached faraway villages and towns in time but only when they are about to be expired. He maintained that, this bill will now adequately help to solve the problems of distribution, storage and supply.
Hon. Ibrahim Sorie of the APC says the bill was a mere commitment of the government to provide health for all.
He informed that donors have spent huge amount on the Free Health Care and need results. He said such a bill will help in that direction.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.