By ZBC Reporter
THE public in Matabeleland South has been urged to make use of government and private sector facilities to access medication that is in short supply in some districts.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care says there is a critical shortage of some drugs for chronic ailments such as diabetes and hypertension in Umzingwane district, with the elderly population being the worst affected.
According to the district’s Acting Medical Officer, Dr Marambire Sinaravo, who was speaking during a recent visit by the First Lady’s Administration Assistant, Mrs Failess Matemba to the district, expressed fears that patients will start defaulting, resulting in complications such as stroke and heart diseases.
“We are facing a serious shortage of antihypertensives, and Nifedipine drugs for blood pressure. We have also gone for about 6 months without metformin and insulin for patients with diabetes. Catheters for the elderly with prostate cancer are also in short supply. We really want to appeal to the government for assistance,” said Sinaravo.
Patients over 65 years of age, who normally access drugs and medical treatment for free at government health facilities, appealed for government intervention.
“We are having a serious challenge here in our district. Most of us have diabetes and BP but our clinics are empty. Can we also be catered for like those on ARVs.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare’s Provincial Officer Mr Chriswell Nyakudya has revealed that there are government and private sector facilities that seek to assist the elderly in accessing medication.
“Yes, there is a budget under the older persons’ budget. Added on to that we have High Life Foundation and the First Lady’s office that are assisting the elderly with medication. So the money is there all people need to do is to take advantage of these facilities,” he said.
Some pharmacies have pegged drugs in United States dollars and most people in rural areas cannot afford them.
By ZBC Reporter