Zambian hospitals run out of drugs


A critical shortage of essential drugs and supplies has hit the Zambian public health system with most public health facilities completely running out of stock.
Several health workers interviewed in different parts of the country confirmed that the situation has been going on since October but worsened over the last few weeks.
Essential drugs and consumables have completely run out, leaving most health facilities paralysed.
Resident Doctors Association of Zambia Brian Sampa confirmed the deadly situation described it as disturbing.

Dr Sampa said it has become difficult for his members to deliver health care as some centres have completely run out of all the supplies.
Further investigations revealed that essential items such as cotton wool, gloves, needless have also completely run out including Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDTs), batteries for BP machine and specimen bottles.
Only medicines such as Septrin, Albendazole, Amoxyxl and Tetracycline eye ointment are available in a few facilities and are being dispensed in smaller doses.
In most facilities, Items such as stationary, Catheters, CT scan machines have either run out or have broken down.
Below is a list of drugs and consumables that are not available in public hospitals. The list was supplied by some Nurses and Doctors and independently verified.
-Gauges and swabs
-Medicines (More especially Injectable drugs)
-IV fluids
-Laboratory Reagents
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Lackson Kasonka confirmed the drug shortages and blamed it on the ongoing overhauling of the drug procurement system.
Prof Kasonka promised that drug supplies will start normalising by next week.