DRUG SHORTAGE IN MALAITA

BY SAMIE WAIKORI

Malaita province is facing a shortage of medicine, a problem which has been ongoing for nearly a month.

Malaria cases are also reportedly increasing in Auki and surrounding communities.

Patients to clinics are being sent home with only paracetamol. Few clinics are down to their last supplies with children’s Coartem tablets (anti-malarial drug) which is being given to adults.

The province’s health authority has confirmed this drug shortage to Island Sun.

Supervising Director Dr David Danitofea admitted to the paper yesterday that the province is indeed facing drug shortage.

He however explains that it is cyclical – there will be a period of drug shortage before their stocks are replenished from Honiara.

Danitofea says there has never been a time where drugs were in full supply when new stocks arrived.

“This is a normal issue as supplies are coming, distributed, run-out and supply continues to come.

“Recently, I was submitted with a list of drugs that the province is without and my office is working on to get supply soon,” he said.

Danitofea adds that this same problem is faced by other provinces as well.

He concurs that ideally health authorities should ensure that there is no period of drug shortage before replenishment of stock.

“Sadly, that is not the reality,” he said.

Danitofea said this is one of the challenges his office is facing especially on how to maintain drug supply, given the delay of supply from Honiara has become the new normal.

“This is an area my office will try to strengthen making sure supplies are maintained until we receive new supplies, though it will be challenging,” he said.

Island Sun Auki has received reports that for nearly a month sick patients especially those diagnosed with malaria were advised to receive home-care or referred either to Kilu’ufi hospital or other clinics with prescriptions.

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