Tuesday July 17, 2018
News Feeds:


                               STATEMENT BY THE RT HON PRIME MINISTER





Honourable Ministers

Representatives of Development Partners

Chairman and Members of the Prime Minister’s Inter-Ministerial Task Team

Senior Government Officials

Representatives of the Media

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is my honour, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, to welcome you all today to the launch of the Report of the Prime Minister’s Inter-Ministerial Task Team on Health Service Delivery.

The recent serious concerns, that I and my Cabinet colleagues – and indeed the entire Nation – had about the present quality of health service in our country, required us to take some urgent action.  We therefore appointed task teams to carry out a number of assignments.


The Report, which will be known as the Prince Sikelela Report launched today is from the first task team, which had been commissioned with the task of improving the availability of medicines and medical supplies.  There were clearly significant problems in that area of the public health services, so Government prioritized the investigation necessary to identify the problems and the remedies.  The difficulties faced by the Ministry of Health were considered a Government-wide challenge.  We, therefore, drew the membership of the Task Team from the entire Government system.


The Prince Sikelela Report was presented to Cabinet on 18 July 2017, and was considered and approved by Cabinet on 25 July 2017.  Cabinet is of the view that the Report is highly informative, in an exemplary format and identifying the main problems encountered in the availability of medicines and medical supplies.  It also presents the steps to be taken, and by whom, to ensure that the various bottlenecks in the pharmaceutical supply chain management are resolved, and are not seen again.


A key component of the Prince Sikelela Report is the comprehensive inclusion of time-based, quantified and measurable action and output targets to achieve the solutions within a reasonable time.  The targets and time frames are considered realistic, acknowledging that some improvements can be achieved in the very short term, and others will take longer.  But the target dates are there for all to see.


In brief, the problems, that were identified, included the existence of manual stock management systems that made it difficult to quantify the essential medicines needed, as well as poor timing regarding payments to suppliers, and a shrinking supplier base that limited the number of available pharmaceuticals.  An inadequacy in the area of human resources for pharmaceutical services and Ministry of Health procurement were compounded by unsatisfactory use and control of medicines and a lack of contingency measures for the emergency procurement of pharmaceuticals.

The Prince Sikelela Report sets out an extensive list of actions that are to be taken.  Following this launch, the Report will be distributed to the media and loaded on to the Government Website for all to see.

I will not take up time listing all of the recommendations at this event.  But I take the opportunity to present a number of the outputs identified:

The Standard Treatment Guidelines and an Essential Medicines List will be reviewed, with Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committees operationalised within health facilities. Procurement supply plans, that inform demand and orders to suppliers, will be drawn up on a regular basis.  The draft procurement regulations will incorporate the unique procedures for ICU and Renal Units.


Annual cash flow forecasts will be prepared and revised every quarter, prioritizing payment for medicines and medical supplies.  An inter-ministerial committee will oversee the settlement of outstanding invoices for medicines and medical supplies, while adhering to a strict policy on speed of payment. 


A market analysis, supplier prequalification and proactive vender selection will take place.  Emergency medicine purchasing will be upgraded.  Inventory management systems will be automated.  Vehicle tracking devices are to be installed for control purposes, and vehicle maintenance work outsourced.  The Medicines Regulatory Authority will be established under the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act, 2016, and the Health Bill finalized.

The dialysis services will be expanded through Public Private Partnership to cover the RFM, Hlatikulu and Pigg’s Peak hospitals.

There will also be an upgrading of human resources at the strategic and policy levels, with a fully-fledged pharmaceutical structure as provided for in the Government development structure.

The Prince Sikelela Report is an impressive document.  The collaboration and professionalism of the members is highly commended.  Our gratitude therefore goes to the Team and to our cooperating partners:  AIDS-Free, University Research Council, World Bank, European Union local offices, for supporting the inter-Ministerial task team with transport.  We are also immensely grateful to PEPFAR, through the Management Sciences for Health (MSH), for availing two consultants who contributed substantially to the exercise.

As we launch the Prince Sikelela Report on Health Service Delivery, let me add in capital letters, so to speak, that the road to failure is paved with good intentions.  A very apt saying which effectively highlights the need for a total commitment to full implementation.  We have set out the plans; now we have the job to do.  The Task Team, under the chairmanship of Prince Sikelela Report, will therefore now take on the responsibility of monitoring and evaluation of progress in implementation, with a report to be submitted to Cabinet during the annual Retreat that will take place in January 2018.  Progress reports will also be placed in the public domain. 

It is now my honour, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, to launch the Prince Sikelela Report for publication and for commencement of its Action Programme.

Thank you.


Copyright © 2018. Eswatini Government. Designed by Computronics
Warning!!! This template is no longer Compatible with this Version of Content Management System please replace it as soon!!!!