Shortage hits Morobe


HEALTH facilities in Morobe are facing a shortage of drugs, especially the anti-malaria medicine, according to provincial health adviser Micah Yawing.
He said the Mala 1 medicine was badly needed by 51 health centres, two district hospitals, including Braun in Finschhafen and Etep in Wasu, and 200-plus aid posts in the nine districts of Morobe.
The National received similar reports of drug shortage in the Bulolo and Mutzing health facilities.
In Bulolo, a health officer, who requested anonymity, said basic drugs especially amoxyciline, panadol and Mala 1 were needed badly.
In Mutzing, former Markham MP Koni Iguan said sick people were being turned away because there was no medicine.
“What about the Government’s free health care policy?” Iguan said.
“Can’t Health Minister Michael Malabag address the situation immediately?” Yawing said there was no more stock for the Mala 1 drugs.
“There are anti-malaria drugs available in various urban pharmacies and pharmaceutical drug wholesalers but we need money to stock up the shelves,” he said.
“In this situation, procurement is done in advance as highlighted by the Deputy Health Secretary Dr Paison Dakulala today (The National yesterday).”
Yawing and health unit managers met with acting provincial administrator Sheila Harou and the provincial treasury yesterday to discuss how to address the situation in the districts.
Yawing said K160,000 from roll-over funds was guaranteed to restock the supplies for an indefinite period while awaiting the Health Department’s drug procurement systems.
“K100,000 will be spent to restock anti-malaria drugs while K60,000 will cater for other important antibiotics because we cannot wait for the procurement while patients die in front of our eyes.”

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