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Itojo Hospital grapples with drug shortage

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The Paediatric ward at Itojo Hospital

The Paediatric ward at Itojo Hospital which normally has the highest number of patients has more empty beds now. PHOTO BY Perez Rumanzi 

By PEREZ RUMANZI

Posted  Tuesday, August 26  2014 at  10:39

In Summary

Costly. Patients are reportedly opting away from the hospital because despite proper staffing, they cannot afford buying drugs

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Ntungamo.
Itojo Hospital in Ntungamo District is facing drug shortage following irregular supply by the National Medical Stores.
The hospital last received drugs in May and more supplies were expected in July but they never came.

The hospital administrator, Ms Rossette Kiconco, said last Thursday, patients are buying almost everything, and they can’t attend to major cases although they have specialists.

“We had a big challenge of staffing before but this has been solved. We now have four full time medical doctors, enough midwives, nurses and other staff,” Ms Kiconco said adding:

“But we are facing a big challenge of medicines, the national medical stores has not delivered and we are suffering. Patients are now buying everything the hospital should be giving for free.”

She said test kits in laboratories and other essential medicines that should be at a district referral hospital are missing, forcing health workers to refer most of the patients.

“Most of our wards are now empty. You admit a patient, yes the doctors are there, but when you ask the patient to buy everything out of the hospital it becomes expensive and time wasting, the patient leaves,” Ms Kiconco said.

Ms Justine Asasirwe, a patient, from Igorora Nyakyera Sub-county, told the Daily Monitor that she was finding it hard to buy all the drugs from drug shops in nearby Itojo trading centre.

“They come and write for you drugs to go and buy from drug shops in the trading centre and yet we do not even know much about this trading centre,” she said.

Efforts to get a comment from the National Medical Stores were futile as all known phone numbers of the public relations officer, Mr Dan Kimosho and the executive director, Moses Kamabare were switched off.