Malawi public hospitals run out of dental anaesthesia

Many hospitals in the country have run out of dental anaesthesia (Dental lignocaine) and people who need to have their teeth extracted have to wait until it is made available.

Takondwa Galau, Ndirande resident saidin an interview that he went to Ndirande Health Centre to have his tooth, which has been giving him problems, extracted but was told they could not conduct the procedure since there was no dental anaesthesia.

“I went to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) on Wednesday and was told the same story. I’m in pain and I can’t afford to have treatment at a private hospital,” he complained.

Galau added: “I was told to pay K2, 500 at a certain clinic in Ndirande and K4, 000 at a certain clinic in town. I will just be having pain killers for now.”

Chimbali: Confirmed
Chimbali: Confirmed

District Health Officer (DHO) for Blantyre, Dr. Owen Malema confirmed that four health facilities that include Ndirande, Lunzu, Limbe and Chilomoni with dental departments currently do not have dental anaesthesia.

“We are waiting for the Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) to supply us but we have always ensured to make an order of any needed drugs two weeks before they get finished,” said the DHO.

Ministry of Health Spokesperson, Henry Chimbali confirmed that many hospitals across the country have run out of dental anaesthesia and they are waiting for the supply from CMST.

Central Medical stores Trust Public Relations Officer, Helbert Chandilanga also confirmed that Dental Lignocaine has been out of stock pointing out that it is one of the items on order under the DFID procurement and CMTS is waiting for Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) confirmation.

“Additional quantities have also been ordered in the recently advertised CMST tender,” he said.

According to Chandilanga, there are currently no specific challenges in delivering drugs once ordered apart from the fact that sometimes facilities do not respect the 10th-of-month deadline for orders to reach regional stores advising facilities must place orders before the 10th of the month.

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