- Dr Kabalo said Government was committed to ensuring that health centres were stocked with drugs and that government had recently procured a number of health drug kits to cushion drug supply in health centres.
By SIMON MUNTEMBA and SANFROSSA MANYINDA
GOVERNMENT has procured enough drugs to ease the shortage being experienced in health centres, Ministry of health spokesperson Able Kabalo said yesterday.
Dr Kabalo was reacting to revelations that health centres around the country had run out of essential drugs.
Dr Kabalo said Government was committed to ensuring that health centres were stocked with drugs and that government had recently procured a number of health drug kits to cushion drug supply in health centres.
“Just recently what we did as government is that we procured a number of health centre drug kits that should actually cushion the facilities in terms of drug supply,” Dr Kabalo said.
However, earlier yesterday, a survey revealed that a shortage of essential drugs had hit most public health facilities with patients being given prescriptions to buy most drugs from chemists.
The situation has incensed residents in Kitwe, some of whom indicated that they would be shunning accessing health services from public health centres while the Medical for Quality Health Care in Zambia (MHQZ) said the shortage of drugs was actually countrywide.
A check by the Daily Nation in some health centres in Kitwe found patients complaining after they were being given prescriptions to go and buy drugs from chemists.
One patient, Memory Pandwe, who went to seek medical attention at Kwacha clinic said it was disappointing that the health centre could be running out of common drugs like piriton.
Another patient at Buchi Urban Clinic, Mubanga Nchito, wondered why people should continue going to the clinic when they were not being given drugs.
MHQZ Director General, Quince Mwabu, said if no quick action was taken, the situation where health institutions did not provide essential drugs could lead to many deaths in the country.
He said patients would be failing to access healthcare services and start self-prescriptions while others may not have money to buy drugs prescribed for them.