The drug shortage situation in the country has started to stabilize, as some of the essential drugs that had been out of stock are now arriving into the country, over the past two days.
A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet stated that at the National Referral Hospital, more than sixty percent of the drugs are now available.
It says that, there is thirty percent in full stock and little over thirty percent in more limited stock, with quantities for some items for supply of up to six months.
According to the statement, this assessment does not include essential items that arrived on the Solomon Airlines flight from Brisbane yesterday.
The drugs that arrived yesterday include Amoxicillin capsules, Ampicillin injections, Penicillin injections, Benzathine Penicillin injections, Amoxicillin suspension and colostomy bags.
Other items including paracetamol are coming in today.
More items are expected over the weekend and throughout the next few next weeks.
Large shipments are expected on 30th July and 8th August.
Our interim order that includes everything the country needs for 10 months is expected to arrive in August and September.
The NRH is being slowly restocked as supplies come in.
Most of the specialised drugs needed for the Operating theatres have now been sent to the theatres.
The Honiara City Council Clinics are also being slowly restocked. Supplies to provinces are being prepared to be shipped out.
The Australian and New Zealand High Commissions have confirmed their willingness to assist the government address any short-term emergency assistance in response to government’s request for possible assistance. However, the government hopes the steady delivery of our supplies will be adequate to address the shortage situation.
The government has also reached out to the Papua New Guinea Health Department in the event, that it needs additional short-term support, in particular with certain medicines that are common to both countries’ essential drugs lists.
The MHMS and OPMC expect continuing improvements with almost daily deliveries of essential drugs and supplies until we reach our full complement at around September this year.
An informal joint taskforce has been established comprising representatives from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services headquarters, National Referral Hospital (NRH), the National Medical Stores (NMS), Honiara City Council Health Director and the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to coordinate all actions and activities aimed at addressing the drug shortage during this period.
This informal taskforce will continue to operate until the situation is back to normal.
The informal taskforce will also look at areas for improvements to prevent possible repetition of such events in future and to support the 2019 procurement process for drugs and supplies.
As of today, the National Referral Hospital and Honiara City Council clinics will be restocked with some essential drugs and supplies and all provinces; while experiencing different levels of shortages, are all providing services to the people.
The Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC) and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) will provide further updates early next week to keep the public informed of the progress of actions taken by the government to address the drug shortage situation.
– OPMC Press