Law Society say Malawi drugs shortage violates the rights of citizens: PAC to meet

The Malawi Law Society (MLS) has commented on reports that that public hospitals, especially district and referral centers in the country, have run out of 95 percent of essential drugs, saying the development is not only deplorable, unacceptable and inexcusable, but also outright unconstitutional.

In a statement made available to Nyasa Times, MLS said will monitor the situation and will, in the face of continuing inability by the State to resolve the drug shortage, exercise its statutory mandate to take lawful measures in the interest of the Malawian public.

The lawyers said the drug shortage violates, among other rights, the rights of Malawians to health, life and dignity; hence, should not continue.

“Failing to stock public hospitals with essential drugs is as a consequence as good as passing an undeserved death sentence on the majority of our people,” says the statement issued by MLS president John-Gift Mwakhwawa.

MLS president Makhwawa: Malawi drug shortage is outright unconstitutional.
MLS president Makhwawa: Malawi drug shortage is outright unconstitutional.

The MLS said it is no secret that the overwhelming majority of Malawians are poor and cannot afford services at private health facilities.The society takes cognisance of significant instances of pilferage that characterise the supply of drugs and medical supplies in the country,” reads the statement in part.

Doctors at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe have written President Joyce Banda and Malawians, saying patients are dying from treatable diseases due to drug shortage.

Health Minister Catherine Gotani Hara revealed that the last time government made substantial drug procurement was in 2009, hence the serious shortage.

Meanwhile,  Malawi’s faith-based pressure group  Public Affairs Committee (PAC) is planning to hold an emergency meeting with government to discuss the current drug shortage in the country’s public hospitals.

PAC spokesperson Maurice Munthali told Capital Radio said the organisation will  have to “sit-down urgently and interface with the responsible ministry and officials to prevent this in the future.”

He told the radio: “We have had incidences of this nature in the past. [After] we…interacted with the leadership of the past regimes… we were assured…such incidences [would] not occur again. But we are surprised that these issues have

Munthali advised the Joyce Banda administration to be careful with delicate issues like drug shortages, saying no any sane person would put in power a government that doesn’t have the welfare of the people at heart.

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