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Katakwi hit by drug shortages

By Emmanuel Opio

Added 30th January 2019 05:48 PM

Hospital ran short of general supplies in the first week of January up until now

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The elderly woman as well as a mother and her child rest at the waiting area at Katakwi Hospital. Photo by Emmanuel Opio

Hospital ran short of general supplies in the first week of January up until now

Residents in Katakwi district who are seeking medical treatment have been left distraught due to a shortage of drugs in government health centres that has been ongoing for over a month.

“With this biting poverty, it is expensive to access medical services and I am worried for my life if the government does not send drugs in time,” David Akol, a patient said.

Hailing from Kelim village in Katakwi sub-county, Akol said the lack of drugs in the hospital has posed a big challenge to the poor.

“I regret coming to the government hospital for treatment. I have spent over sh70,000 to buy drugs since my child was admitted at Katakwi Hospital,” Immaculate Asupa who hails from Magoro sub-county said.

Asupa explained that the money she has spent on drugs had been set aside for her child’s school fees for the upcoming to school term.

“The only help we receive here is the service from the medics but all the burden of buying drugs lies on our shoulders. We delay to get treatment sometimes when we delay to buy drugs,” Pilomina Uuro, said.

 

According to the constitution, it is the government’s mandate to provide health services to its citizens without any cost attached.

Medics speak out

A notice at the hospital’s notice board signed by the hospital administrators, stipulated that even the complete blood count (CBC) machine broke down over a week ago.

Peter Olaki, the hospital administrator, confirmed that the hospital ran short of general supplies in the first week of January up until now.

He added that the hospital had also spent over two weeks without vaccines for measles.

“We send patients to buy the lacking supplies like gloves, fluids and cannulas among other supplies in the nearby clinics,” Olaki said.   

He blamed the stock out to high turn up of patients received in the hospital daily.

“We receive over 100 patients daily but they reach to over 300 on Thursdays,” Olaki said, adding that they have no option other than to wait for more government supplies.

A box of gloves is sold at sh12,000 in private clinics while a pair costs sh500.

By press time, Sam Amali, the acting district health officer for Katakwi had declined to comment.

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