Nebbi District Authorities under Fire over Drug Shortage

1472 Views Nebbi, Uganda
An LC5 councilor in Nebbi district has accused the district health department of not doing enough to deal with the drug shortage problem there. John Warom, the LC5 councilor for Parombo sub-county, says his nephew was admitted at Nebbi Referral Hospital on Saturday June 12th. He claims that the boy could not receive treatment for malaria at the hospital until intravenous fluid, syringes and drugs were bought from a clinic in town. Warom, who is a member of the district social services committee that oversees the work of the hospital, says the shortage of essential malaria drugs is inexplicable. At Nebbi Hospital, a parent looking after her young son, disclosed that although the boy had been admitted for a day, he still had no access to medication. The parent, who asked not to be identified out of fear, whispered that she was informed that the child would not be treated until she bought drugs from outside the hospital. The shortage of essential drugs at hospitals and health centers in Nebbi was first made known by the former LC5 chairperson of the district, Okwir Amula. Amula's report was quickly dismissed by the district chairperson, John Pascal Wapokra, who said there was no evidence of a shortage. The District Health Officer, Jakor Oriema, has refused to comment on the matter. He says the Medical Superintendent of Nebbi Hospital should answer for shortages within the hospital. The District Information Officer, Godfrey Odiya, says the issue has been blown out of proportion. According to him, all drugs are available in Nebbi. He says what is seen as a shortage is merely a temporary shortfall caused by the high number of patients seeking treatment.