Drug Shortages Hamper PMTCT Campaigns in Mbale

2324 Views Mbale, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
Health Center threes in Mbale Municipality have run out of anti-retroviral drugs used for Prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS.

Health Center III's in Mbale Municipality have run out of anti-retroviral drugs, used for Prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS.

The four health centers which are located in Northern Division, Wanale and Industrial Division in Mbale town have for more than a month not received supplies for Neviraphine, an anti-retroviral therapy used in the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS.

According to the World Health Organization-WHO a single dose of Neviraphine prophilaxis when administered to an expectant mother reduces the risk of transmission of HIV to the unborn baby.

But the health centers three in Mbale which handle antenatal care and treatment as well, do not have a single dose of the drug.

Statics at Namakwekwe Health Center three indicates it handles an average of thirty expectant mothers per day but it does not have any single dose of neviraphine prophilaxis drug.

The in-charge of the health unit, Justine Auma, a clinical officer says that the unit has for the past month not received supplies for the drugs.  She explains that they are now forced to refer HIV positive expectant mothers to Mbale Referral Hospital.

She blames the problem on the supply chain and lack of supervision of the health units. She faults top officials at the council for ‘sitting’ on several reports that she submitted on drug stock out.

Auma says only development partners and nongovernmental organizations visit the lower units.

Namakwekwe health center is also unable to handle mothers during delivery because the only bed in the maternity ward is broken. The midwives have to escort mothers who are in labor pain to Mbale Referral Hospital to deliver.

The unit has also not had a functioning microscope for the past two years making it impossible to check for diseases like Typhoid, Pregnancy and tuberculosis.

The drug stock out and lack of logistics is a source of concern to the patients who visit the units.

Sulaina Nandutu, a patient receives treatment from Namakwekwe Health Center says the unit says officials at the unit only prescribe and tell them to buy the drugs from the private clinics.

//Cue in: “When you come…”
Cue out “…they tell you to go and buy it” //

###