Pharmaceutical Society of Zambia (PSZ) president Jerome Kanyika says the increased allocation to the health sector announced in the 2020 national budget has given a lot of hope to the Society.

Last Friday, Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu announced that government had allocated around K9.4 billion in next year’s budget towards the health sector, representing 8.8 per cent of the 2020 national budget, a marginal increase from K8.1 billion allocated in the 2019 budget.

In an interview, Kanyika hailed government’s increased allocation to the health sector, adding that the budget included the aspect of growing and developing the pharmaceutical component of the health sector.

“The budget has at least given us, as Pharmaceutical Society of Zambia, the hope that yes, in 2020, something is going to be done. Not only that, the Minister for Finance further mentioned that there is about K900 million that has been put aside for procurement of new drugs. He went further to say that in 2020, the Ministry of Health is going to expand the 24/7 pharmacy servicing all the 10 provinces of the country and all the public institutions. This has excited us as Pharmaceutical Society of Zambia and we are very much expectant and willing to work with the government to make sure that we actualise this pharmacy 24/7,” said Kanyika.

“For us, this is the first time the Pharmaceutical Society has appeared in the budget. It is now upon us to make sure that we follow-up with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance so that it gets actualised. All these budgets, which come year in-year out, never seem to cover expanding of pharmaceutical services. They may talk about the Universal Health Coverage, but in this 2020 budget, it is at least speaking something. For us, it has spoken to us and we are going to make sure that it is actualised.”