MINISTRY OF HEALTH ACCUSE THE MEDIA OF MISLEADING THE NATION: SAYS THERE IS NOT DRUG SHORTAGE IN PUBLIC HOSPITALS

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The Ministry of Health has trashed media reports that there is acute medicine shortage in government hospitals, saying the reports are untrue and misleading.

The claims come following a story carried by one of the local daily papers in the country [Daily Times] that some essential drugs in Public hospital have run out of stock.

The paper reported that the unavailable drugs in several district hospitals are pain killers, antibiotics, anti-malaria drugs and contraceptive commodities.

Trashing the claims in a Statement made available to FaceofMalawi signed by Ministry of Health secretary urged the media to contact it at any time to verify facts related to issues of health, as unfounded stories would just create unnecessary panic in the communities.

“Malawi is still resource constrained especially with our lean budget. However, Government is trying to prudently utilise whatever is available,” reads in part the statement.

In a statement, the ministry says all hospitals are supposed to submit monthly reports and monthly orders of the medicines and medical supplies by the 10th day of the upcoming month.

“Based on this, CMST draws up delivery schedule to the health facilities, including health centres. In the event that a District Health Officer makes late submission, CMST is not able to deliver on time.

“As of 21st July, 2015, most of the sampled facilities across the country had ample stocks of vital supplies. These include Mwanza, Thyolo, Nsanje District Hospitals, Queen Elizabeth and Zomba Central Hospitals in the Southern Region, Rumphi, Nkhatabay, Karonga, Mzimba District Hospitals and Mzuzu Central Hospital in the Northern Region, and Ntchisi, Lilongwe, Dedza, Salima District Hospitals and Kamuzu Central Hospitals in the Central Region. Some district hospitals in the Centre such as Kasungu and Ntcheu District Hospitals submitted their requisitions late. CMST has, however informed the two hospitals to collect their supplies from Regional Medical Stores (centre),” continue to read the statement.

According to the statement, the Ministry of Health in conjunction with with the CMST has come up with a list of medical supplies that MUST always be in stock.

These commodities are the ones whose availability must be ensured at all times. CMST will prioritise procurement of the same. Currently, availability of these VITAL supplies is around eighty percent (80%).

“The responsibility of CMST is to deliver medicines and medical supplies at the facilities. It is however the responsibility of the health facilities and the hospital advisory committee to ensure that these supplies are not misused/abused at the facilities,” the statement adds.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Health has urged the at large to report any malpractices taking place in public hospitals regarding misuse of the drugs.

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Robert Ngwira
Robert Ngwira
Attended Our Future Private Secondary School in Rumphi from 2006-2009 Holder of Diploma in Journalism from Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) Hobbies, reading newspapers, going out with friends, listening to radio and watching football. Email: info@faceofmalawi.com

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