Opposition calls for state of emergency at the national referral hospital

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Minister for Infrastructure Development Manasseh Maelanga.
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BY LYNTON AARON FILIA

OPPOSITION leader Manasseh Maelanga has called on the Government to declare a state of medical emergency and quickly address the medical drugs at the national hospital (NRH).

In a press statement from the Opposition Communication Unit, Maelanga calls for urgent coordinated efforts from national leaders and authorities responsible to address such crippling shortage of drugs and medicine at the NRH.

Maelanga also reiterates his previous call for the removal of the permanent secretary for the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

He said the drug shortage had worsened since he made a call previously following several concerns raised by the public urging the government to prioritise it.

Recent media reports and information from inside sources reaching the Office of the Leader of Opposition claim that the nation’s drug shortage has reached ‘crisis point’.

At the plight of this situation doctors and nurses are in desperate measures to meet patients’ needs as the country braces for the coming months.

The Opposition Group is gravely concerned that the shortage has prompted potentially harmful mix-up of medication as nurses and doctors work their best to substitute commonly-used drugs for patient treatment.

Maelanga said “the severe drug shortage issue we are currently facing is a public health crisis that calls for urgent action by the government.

“The shortage must be treated as a national security issue and the government needs to come out truthfully on the real extent of the issue.

“This is an inevitable consequence of a failed system.

“Whilst we cannot completely eliminate the issue, more planning and better coordination between key stakeholders can have meaningful impact on challenges that can give rise to drug shortages in the country,” Maelanga said.

Last week, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Dr Tenneth Dalipada has confirmed “triggered” emergency procurement plan.

The aim is to ensure urgently-needed drugs for the National Referral Hospital are delivered by air and ships between now and September, Dalipanda said.

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