United States of America (USA) based organization, AmeriCares has donated to government medical drugs worth K175 million (bout $500 000) after personal intervention of President Joyce Banda who appealed for help from the Americares.
Banda, who visited AmeriCares headquarters to meet with AmeriCares President and CEO Curt Welling and the staff in February when she was vice president, recently asked AmeriCares for help alleviating a shortage of medicines and supplies that has led to unnecessary and preventable deaths.
The donation comes at a time the country’s hospitals are facing critical shortage of medicine and other medical supplies, and at the moment doctors at Kamuzu Central Hospital penned President Banda raising alarm on the drugs shortage.
The doctors have complained that many patients are dying of curable ailments due to drugs shortage, the situation which has forced some hospitals to start rationing the medicine they have in store.
Minister of Health Catherine Gotani Hara received the donation on behalf of government at Central Medical Stores (CMS) in Lilongwe on Tuesday.
Hara who earlier on had visited Kamuzu Central Hospital told journalists, the donation will help to address the drugs shortage.
”This is a timely gesture. It comes at the time when there is urgent need of drugs in our hospitals. This donation will help to easy the situation while government is working on sorting out the problem as soon as possible,” Hara said.
She said the CMS was operating at “approximately 95 per cent stock-outs of medicines and supplies.”
The minister said:“This means we only have five per cent of all the needed medicines and supplies for our public hospitals. For us to reach this level, there have been a number of factors that have created and culminated into this situation.”
It was learnt thar Malawi has not had any large scale procurement of drugs since the last one in October 2009, a situation the Minister of Health said had impacted on stock levels of medicines and supplies at Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST).
“The CMST is the process of floating another major tender for medicines and medical supplies for the year 2013. This will enable us to create a buffer stock and ensure that drugs are available at all times,” said Gotani Hara
The donated medicine will distributed to main hospitals of Kamuzu Central, Mzuzu, Zomba and Queen Elizabeth.
The consignment contains diabates medicine which has been in short supply for months now. It also contains IV fluids and antibiotics among other drugs.
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