NATION

Medicine Wastage Tops Agenda

By next year, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services is expected to install a new supply chain information system in its bid to curb the shortage of medicine in local clinics.
17 Sep 2020 11:17
Medicine Wastage Tops Agenda
Newly appointed Fiji Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Services Centre (FPBS) director Jeremaia Mataika, and chief pharmacist Ilisabeta Pesamino. Photo: Ronald Kumar

By next year, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services is expected to install a new supply chain information system in its bid to curb the shortage of medicine in local clinics.

The review of the information system is spearheaded by the Fiji Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Services Centre (FPBS), funded by the Australian Government.

Once implemented the system can be monitored from a central location using a mobile phone so that medicine stock can be redistributed to health centres that require them.

At the helm of all of this is the newly appointed FPBS director Jeremaia Mataika, 42, and chief pharmacist Ilisabeta Pesamino, 43.

Mr Mataika hails from Gau with maternal links to Natauloa Village in Nairai.

The father of three children is a former student of Ratu Kadavulevu School.

Mrs Pesamino hails from Nabalebale Village in Cakaudrove with maternal links to Nawi Village, Buca Bay.

She is married and has five children and is a former student of Labasa College.

The career pharmacists have been in the profession for a combined total of 40-years of service.

Both completed their Diploma in Pharmacy at the then Fiji School of Medicine after which they pursued their post graduate studies at the University of the South Pacific.

Duo ready to take on challenge

At a time when COVID-19 has changed the game for the medical industry, the duo are ready to take on the challenge of heading Fiji’s Pharmaceutical industry head on.

“It’s a humbling experience especially knowing this is a challenging role of ensuring that supply of medicine is always available during a pandemic,” Mr Mataika said.

“Nothing is impossible. We always try our best to optimise with all the opportunity that we have. We have a very good team here; working in such a role you need good people around you to give you good advice.”

Mr Mataika said the future was exciting especially their progress in putting into motion the review of the supply chain information system.

Taking on the reins from former chief pharmacist Apolosi Vosanibola who is furthering his studies in Australia, Mrs Pesamino said she was thrilled to be considered for the appointment.

“I’m excited to be able to contribute, take control and make decisions. This appointment could not have come at a better time, with my experience in the regulatory unit for eight years,” Mrs Pesamino said.

“During that time I have learned the ropes around working in this industry.”

The Ministry of Health is also remodeling the Free Medicine Scheme by giving retailer pharmacists the opportunity to procure medicine and supply it to customers after which they are reimbursed.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

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