Mbarara Health Centers Hit by Anti Malaria Drug Stockout

2533 Views Mbarara, Uganda

In short
He says there was no single dose of anti malaria drug found at Nyakayojo, Rubaya, Biharwe, Kinon, Mwizi and Bugamba health centers during the survey.

An anti malaria drug stock out has hit health centers in Mbarara district putting the lives of patients at risk. The most affected health centers are those found in hard to reach areas, where patients can’t afford to buy medicine from private drugs shops. Maridad Kajwengye, a village health team worker from Mwizi Sub County in Rwampara County told URN on phone on Wednesday that for over a month several patients have been approaching him with complaints of failure to access anti malaria drugs from government health facilities there.

Kajwengye said most of the patients in need of anti malarial drugs are expectant mothers and children.  According to Kajwengye he has been referring all the patients to Mbarara regional referral Hospital for treatment since he had been told it has drugs in the private wing. Didas Tabaro, the district social services secretary says a recent survey conducted at all the 46 health centers exposed an acute shortage of malaria drugs.  

He says there was no single dose of anti malaria drug found at Nyakayojo, Rubaya, Biharwe, Kinon, Mwizi and Bugamba health centers during the survey.  Without giving any explanation, Tabaro said health centers in Mbarara had not been supplied with coartem for over three months. Dr. Bwera Kaguna Amooti, the Mbarara district health officer acknowledges the problem of the anti malaria drug stockout in all the 46 health centers including Mbarara regional referral Hospital. Dr. Kaguna attributes the shortage to insufficient supply.

He explains that the district last received half of the required 100.000 doses of coatem in November 2013. Kaguna says it’s unfortunate the drugs have run out at the time when they are expecting an upsurge in malaria cases. He says on daily basis the district registers between 5000 to 10,000 new cases of malaria daily. He however says that they have requested for emergency supply from National medical stores in Entebbe.
 
//cue in: “but good enough…..
Cue out:…..will be o.k.”//
 
On open market a dose of coartem costs between 5000 to 10.000 shillings, which is not affordable for the rural poor.