Gulu hospital lacks rabies vaccine
Posted Wednesday, January 9 2013 at 02:00
Health. Patients are referred to other private hospitals, leaving the majority poor without treatment.
Gulu Referral Hospital is grappling with an acute shortage of anti-rabies vaccines amid a surge of dog bites in many villages in the district in recent months.
The hospital now refers rabies patients to other private hospitals such as Gulu Independent and St. Mary’s Lacor, hospitals where they are charged, leaving many poor patients without treatment.
Private hospitals charge between Shs80,000 and Shs100,000 per dosage of anti-rabies vaccines.
Rabies is transmitted from animals to humans and is caused by a virus transmitted by infected domestic and wild animals through close contact with infected saliva through bites or scratches. It is always fatal when left untreated.
Officials at the hospital say the consignment for the last quarter was finished about three weeks ago due to overwhelming public demand.
The in-charge of vaccination, Sister Dorothy Lucy Anek, said at least 40 patients, who visited for emergency treatment, missed the vaccine.
“We are worried that many patients, who have already started receiving their treatment, may not continue with the medication due to lack of vaccines,” Sr Anek said.
The National Medical Stores last sent a consignment of 150 dosages to the hospital in October last year.
Ms Julian Onono, a resident of Paicho Sub-county, on Monday brought her 14-year-old son for the services but was referred to Lacor and Gulu Independent hospitals.
However, Ms Onono said she had no money for transport and treatment.
Gulu hospital’s principal administrator Muhammad Mubiru, however, blamed the current shortage on the continuous reduction of drugs ordered by almost 40 per cent by the national supplier.
“The National Medical Stores only supplies 60 per cent of the ordered drugs which is an impediment to effective service delivery yet the public accuses us of failure to provide services,” Mr Mubiru said.
Dr Tonny Aliro, the district veterinary officer, asked the public to liaise with his department to ensure that all domestic animals like dogs and cats get vaccinated early to avoid spreading the virus.