THE shortage of basic drugs in most health centres in Malaita Province has sparked grave concerns in the drug shortage-affected communities.
Reports reaching this paper said most clinics in the province have run out of Malaria tablets and Panadol, forcing patients requiring these drugs to seek them at private pharmacies and shops in the provincial capital Auki.
A visit to Auki clinic on Thursday this week, saw sick patients bitterly complaining about the shortage of such basic medicine and questioned why it is taking the government so long to address this situation.
A patient spoken to by this paper said the nurses in -charges at the clinic told them that anti-malaria drugs and Panadols are out of stock.
She said the nurses had advised them to visit private pharmacies and shops to buy these medicines.
“The nurses told as that there are no malaria tablets and Panadols available at the clinic. They told us that they ran of stocks since last week and we have to purchase our own from the private pharmacy and retail shops in Auki.”
Reports from two clinics in West Kwara’ae also spoke of similar situations.
“The shortage of malaria medications and Panadols at the clinics here means people have to travel all the way to Auki to buy these medicines from the private pharmacy and the retail shops,” a nurse said.
“This is a scary situation as a lot of people can’t afford to buy medicines,”
This paper understands that an outbreak of Malaita at the Aligegeo Provincial Secondary School near Auki has claimed the life of one student.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) this week issued a statement announcing the arrival of 20 containers of much-needed medical supplies.
However, it said only two containers were released yesterday.
MHMS said clearing 20 containers at the Honiara port entails a significant amount of paper work and the process is long, let alone compliance issues.
“This morning two containers have been cleared and medical supplies delivered to the National Medical Store.“Medical supplies in the two containers contain inhalers, and medical drugs and tomorrow and days to follow health is expecting the remainder of the containers containing plasters, gauze, and IV fluids to be cleared for release and distribution,” MHMS said in a statement.
By SOLOMON LOFANA
Solomon star, Auki