The Operations is the prime driver of NatPharm’s assigned mandate of procuring storing and distributing medicines and medical supplies. The department is responsible for ascertaining requirements necessary to initiate the procurement process. On completion of the procurement process delivery is effected with the operations department certifying the appropriateness of quality, quantity and shelve life. Once in storage the department is responsible for ensuring ideal standards and conditions to avoid loss of drug potency. The department ensures the delivery is effected to the point of need.
- Identification of the right medicines and medical supplies
- Ordering the right medicines and medical supplies
- Storing medicines and medical supplies under ideal conditions
- Distributing medicines and medical supplies to the point of need
- Complementing local production pharmaceutical and related products
Warehousing is one of NatPharm’s key responsibilities and an important component of the procurement supply management (PSM) system. NatPharm has adopted a modern warehouse management system that is integrated with our ERP to ensure that there is no loss of drug potency during storage. NatPharm stores pharmaceutical products under the required controlled storage and transit conditions in order to ensure that their quality is not compromised. NatPharm warehouses meet international standards relating to medical storage environmental control, which include regulated temperatures and refrigeration, adequate lighting, humidity, conditions of sanitation, ventilation, and segregation. These are maintained and constantly monitored wherever drugs and medical supplies are in storage.
To ensure that medicines maintain their potency throughout the health supply chain, NatPharm has established a branch network which is strategically located in major towns and cities. NatPharm has two regional stores which are Harare and Bulawayo servicing three provinces apiece. The company has four other branches to compliment the two regional stores which are Gweru, Masvingo, Mutare and Chinhoyi. Plans are afoot to commission a new State-of-the-Art warehouse in Harare to reinforce NatPharm’s massive pharmaceutical storage capacity.
NatPharm, which is part of the broader embodiment of the health delivery system, prides itself in being the quintessence in delivering the country’s medicines and medical supplies to the last mile of the health supply chain. The country’s largest medicines and medical supplies distributor, has a mandate enshrined in the Government Medical Stores (Commercialisation Act 13 of 2000) to deliver the country’s medicines and medical supplies to all public health institutions. The company has managed to consistently and efficiently execute this mandate at all cost. NatPharm will continue to proficiently carry out its responsibilities and achieve its objectives regardless of an array of dreadful challenges stemming from the marauding Covid-19 pandemic.
As a quasi-Government institution, NatPharm is obliged to integrate and coordinate activities of its custodian the Ministry of Health and Child Care and stakeholders. NatPharm has complimented Government and other stakeholders’ efforts in implementing various distribution programmes, through which supplies are made to health institutions. These programmes include the Zimbabwe Assisted Pull System (ZAPS); Zimbabwe Laboratory Commodities Distribution System (ZiLa CoDS); Zimbabwe Art Distribution system (ZADS); Voluntary medical Male Circumcision (VMMC); and traditional pull system (Emergence Orders) where facilities initiate orders at any time
NatPharm has established production units to compliment the country’s pharmaceutical manufacturing sector in line with the National Pharmaceutical Development Strategy 2021 – 2025. This initiative is supported by local state universities in line with the education 5.0 policy. State universities have the assigned mandate of technology research and development culminating in technology transfer to beneficiaries such as NatPharm. The collaboration with Universities envisages growth into production of medicines for communicable diseases and chronic ailments.