It is administered to mothers with delayed labor pains, of those who babies remain stuck in the womb.
Masaka regional referral hospital has been hit by an acute shortage of Misoprostol, the labor inducing drug. It causes uterine contractions and the ripening or thinning of the cervix. Misoprostol is more effective in starting labor compared to other drugs on the market.
It is administered to mothers with delayed labor pains, of those who babies remain stuck in the womb. However, Masaka regional referral hospital has not received any supply of Misoprostol for the last nine months. Susan Birungi Balyejusa, the Masaka Regional Referral Hospital Nursing officer in charge of the maternity ward says they have sent several requests to the National Medical Stores for the drug but they have adamantly refused to supply it.
Birungi says that there is demand for Misoprostol especially when it comes to handling expectant mothers with severe complications. Birungi says this drug is vital to control hemorrhage which is the leading cause of maternal deaths in the hospital.
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Dr. Florence Tugumisirize says that they forced to administer the C-section on some expectant mothers with complication of the lack of the labor inducing drug. She says that six out of every 10 women delivering at the hospital undergo caesarian operation because they can’t deliver by themselves.
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Some women have accused the hospital of taking advantage of the drug shortage to extort money from them on grounds that they are buying it from private pharmacies. 31-year old Agnes Nassuuna, a mother from Bukomansimbi says that on May 9th, she went to Bikira Maria Omuzadde clinic at Misanvu trading center after developing complications for her six months pregnancy.
Nasuuna says when she took the results back to Masaka hospital, unidentified nurse at the maternity ward demanded 30,000shillings to help her buy the labor inducing drugs to push out the dead fetus. She explains that she didn’t have the money and medical worker refused the 20,000 shillings she could raise. She says that her relatives topped up the money and gave it to the health workers to give her the drugs but she didn’t get any.
With tears rolling down her cheeks, Nassuna says that she was abandoned in the hospital for several hours until another nurse reported for duty, but didn’t help her either. She explains that the second nurse also demanded more money which she did not have, adding that the nurse only intervened after she raised shillings 20,000. Elieza Mugisha, the Masaka Hospital Principle administrator and director Dr. Florence Tugumisirize, have promised to investigate the allegations. National Medical Stores has not yet commented on the failure to supply the important drugs as our reporter could reach any official.
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