Public Hospitals in Critical Shortage of Dental Lignocaine

Shortage of dental lignocaine has hit public health facilities across the country with patients in need of tooth extraction seeking the service in private health facilities.

Elias Wakomba from Namilonje Village in Traditional Authority Chimaliro in Thyolo district told Zodiak Online, the toothache he suffered on Friday last week worsened when he was told that he would not be assisted at Thyolo District Hospital because there were no drugs used as anesthesia when extracting teeth.

“I had to travel to Chisomo dental clinic in Luchenza where I accessed the service at a fee of K3000 besides incurring additional transport costs from Thyolo Boma,” said Wakomba.

At Thyolo District Hospital, Spokesperson there Fanuel Makina told us that for four months now, supply of lignocaine has been erratic.

“Yes, I can confirm the crisis and we are advising patients in need of teeth extraction service to go to private clinics if at all they have money,” said Makina.

The situation is similar to Mulanje and most other district hospitals.

Public Relations Officer for Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) Herbert Chandilanga wrote Zodiak Online saying a call for delivery of lignocaine was processed with the supplier who is in a framework agreement with CMST.

“To address the immediate situation, CMST has already commenced processes to secure gap filler amounts from suppliers that have lignocaine to cover the period between now and the contracted supplier delivers the drug,” said Chandilanga 

Joshua Malango who speaks for the Ministry of Health says he will comment later.

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