Government hospitals across the country have run out anti-venom drug stocks, forcing Zomba Central Hospital to seek the services of a traditional healer to treat patients.
Reports from most referral and district hospitals indicate the anti-venom drug stocks run out some time ago and the government is not replenishing them due to financial problems.
Anti-venom drugs are used to treat snake bite wounds.
Ministry of Health spokesperson Joshua Malango said the development was surprising because Central Medical Strores Trust “has never run short of this drug.”
Malango responded to Nyasa Times, saying : “This is news to us , We have anti – snake bite serum which is for central and southern African snakes the drugs are in stock at Central Medical Stores Trust – CMST and hospitals like all other drugs they do order on their own at CMST.”
But a visit to Zomba Centeal Hospital showed that management has engaged a traditional healer who also works at the hospital as a guard.
He said in an interview that all snake bite patients are referred to him for treatment.
“Whenever I am not around, they always call when there is a patient,” he said.
Hospitals in the country are facing drug shortages due to severe budget cuts by the central government.