A number of health facilities across the country, especially those that had run short on insulin, will soon have an updated supply of these and other drugs after they are cleared from a local port-of-entry, by the Ministry of Public Health.
Director of Regional Health Services (RHS), Dr. Kay Shako via telephone told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that insulin (used to treat diabetes) and other drugs have arrived in the country, and countrywide distributions are to start shortly.
- Regular Insulin (sample)
Since the beginning of the year, there had been reports of drug shortage at some health institutions. According to a GINA report, Minister of Public Health Dr. George Norton believes the new decentralised system that the ministry implemented for drugs procurement may have contributed to the shortage.
“There is no doubt about the fact that we have changed from a system we had before where we had central procurement in terms of deciding what the country needs, and then sending out to the various regions. We changed from that where the regions can now decide what they want and send down the list to the Ministry of Public Health, and we procure for them and then send it out to them (regions),” the minister stated.
“That has caused a lot of delay,” added Norton, who was recently embroiled in a controversial and embarrassing scandal involving the sole-sourcing of a substandard ‘warehouse’ to store drugs.
Additionally, the minister also indicated that regions have not yet adjusted to the new system. Persons responsible for completing Combined Received and Issued Vouchers (CRIVs) at health institutions, for submissions to the Materials Management Unit (MMU) are not fully compliant in completing this task.