Makata Health Centre in Acute Drug Shortage

The health center needs drugs The health center needs drugs - pic by Karen Chinembiri

Patients seeking assistance from Makata Health Centre in Lunzu, Blantyre are lamenting over acute drug shortages which is forcing them to fork out money or travel long distances to other health centers.

Some of the patients at the centre, Maria Mehela and Daliya Jamali revealed to Zodiak that they have been struggling to access ARVs, malaria and asthma medications among other drugs.

“When we come looking for assistance the health workers assist us properly but the problem comes when we have to get drugs.

“We are often told they don’t have the drugs we want such that you are left with nothing to do but to seek assistance from private hospitals and from pharmacies.

“We don’t have money to buy, we do odd jobs or have to borrow just to buy those drugs yet it’s not always that easy,” highlighted Mehela.

Jamali adds: “We get needed assistance here from the health centre but the help we are getting from the government in terms of drugs is not okay.

“The centre is always running out of the needed drugs which always leaves us stranded. We always come back constantly but because there are no drugs it affects the healing process. This is a rural area and most people here don’t have money to buy the drugs that they need. The coming of Covid – 19 has also made everything worse.”

Member of the Health Center Management Committee HCMC at the health Center Jenson Mlapula says the government needs to revise their quotas for Health Centres as drugs are running out within 3 days.

Currently the country has been facing acute drug shortages with rural areas being hardly hit due to the high levels of dependency on government assistance.

In acknowledgement of the deficit the government revealed that while they are organizing a drug relief fund, they are also considering reverting back to the system where it could outsource drugs from private pharmacies in the event that Central Medical Stores runs out of drugs.

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