October 26, 2021

Dowa Communities Lament Inadequate Drugs

Communities around Chakhaza Health Centre in Dowa have lamented inadequate drugs at the health facility saying it was compromising the delivery of health services in the area. This was disclosed during an interface meeting jointly organised by Journalist Assocition Against Aids and Universal Health Coverage Coalition in Malawi on the involvement of communities in terms of accessibility and availability of drugs in hospitals.

The communities have since appealed to government through the District Health Office to consider supplying adequate drugs to the health facility to reverse the t

Speaking in an interview a Community Basic Educator (CBE) from Ching’oma village, Hannock Mbewe said it was sad that when patients visit the health facility, they were being told to buy some supplementary drugs in pharmacies. “Some people in the area do not even know where they can procure the prescribed drugs. We are just told that it is in Madisi which is about five kilometers from our area,” said Mbewe. He explained that the situation was putting the lives of community members at risk most especially during lean periods when money was hard to find.

A mother waiting to receive some drugs at Chakhaza health centre

In a separate interview with Area Developmet Chairperson for the area, Tereza Maxwell, she echoed the CBE sentiments adding that it was high time duty bearers intervened on the matter.

Juliana Kachitsa a Nurse Midwife at the health facility admitted in a separate interview that the health facility was experiencing inadequate drugs. “We are normally given drugs that should last three months but most of the times in happens that the drugs run out before that period elapses due to huge patients turnout so it puts us in a challenging situation,” she said. She also said at times the hospital was receiving drugs that were not necessary at that particular time as some diseases were seasonal. “It happens that sometimes we have adequate Malaria drugs but we may not have drugs to cure other diseases like diarrhoea at that particular time,” she said. She then appealed to the DHO to consider assisting the hospital with adequate drugs to improve health service delivery.

Commenting on the same, Executive Director of JonaAids who is also vice chairperson of Universal Health Coverage Coalition in Malawi Christopher Bauti said the organisation will take a step to ensure that the communities right to health is respected. “As a coalition we want to make the policy makers work hard so that these shortages are not there. We want to see hospitals supplied with the right drugs at the right time,” he said.

Kondwani Kandiado

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