The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has revealed that HIV drugs worth $3.2m (N1.08bn) expired in storage.
The Health Minister revealed this while delivering a speech at the “Dissemination Meeting of 2016 National Health Facility Survey” in Abuja on Tuesday.
Adewole revealed that the knowledge and competence of healthcare workers, availability of drugs and basic equipment, along with management and supervision of healthcare facilities were essential to the improvement of the health sector.
The Health Minister noted during the speech: “Availability of commodities is also important. We have mentioned inadequate funding which is a major factor but it is not the only reason for the out of stock of commodities. Better management is also important.
“We are living witnesses to the challenges we face with the HIV programme where drugs worth about $3.2m expired. So, it is not a question of it (drugs) not being available. Sometimes the drugs are there but we don’t give it to them (patients) and then they expire.”
Adewole added at the event: “The issue is that the drugs expired because of some challenges in the system and we are trying to putting that behind us. We are now putting together a network of logistics supply system. We have two excellent facilities in Abuja and Lagos which we call ‘Warehouse in a Box’.
“The one in Abuja is called Premium Medical Supplies Store and everything there is computerised and with that kind of system, there will be no more expired drugs because we will be able to monitor them electronically. It will be a system of first in, first out and we will also be monitoring expiry dates.
“What we are also trying to avoid in the country is a situation where we take drugs that are about to expire. When you pick drugs that have short shelf lives like six months, they can expire easily.”