October 11, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese First Vice President, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, has warned states’ governors against attempts to divert medicines of the national project to provide free essential drugs for children under five years of age into the black market.
- Sudan’s Vice President Ali Osman Taha speaks during a news conference in Khartoum, Jan 31, 2011. (Reuters)
Taha directed all governors to present a comprehensive report to the federal health ministry detailing how the federal and states subsidies availed to the project were spent, saying that failure to offer such a report would impact the state’s share.
The VP, who was addressing the launching ceremony of the project on Thursday, threatened to prevent states which do not support the project from their federal share of the free drugs, demanding them defeat the “scammers”.
He described the project as one of the Eid Al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) gifts to the Sudanese people particularly the vulnerable segments of the society.
The health minister, Bahar Idris Abu-Garda, for his part, demanded that the finance ministry to meet its commitment to offer the necessary funding for the project, disclosing that they would label all free drugs.
The health ministry claims that 39% of the Sudanese people enjoy the government health insurance.
The Sudanese government spends only 2% of its budget on healthcare, which is far below the standard required by the World Health Organization (WHO) who asked Sudan to increase spending to 20%.