Drug shortage caused by system delay: Official

Patients waiting at the Butibam health centre TB clinic in Lae, Morobe. TB patients haven’t been taking medicines for almost a month due to shortage of drugs in health facilities. – Picture supplied

ANGAU Provincial Health Authority chief executive officer Dr Kipas Binga says the shortage of Tuberculosis (TB) drugs is the cause of a systematic delay.
“It is not specific to the province alone.
“Stocks were supposed to be on ground by last week.
“Lately, we have not received it but I am hearing the problem is nationwide.
“Another thing is that normally each clinic should have buffer stocks. But if they are completely out, then it is an issue,” he added.
Dr Kipas was responding to concerns by health workers that TB patients who had not received medicines going into fourth week might develop multi-drug resistance.
He said TB officers needed to submit reports for new supply and that TB and HIV drugs supply did not follow the normal procurement process through the Area Medical Store.
“They are sourced through their respective programmes and comes straight to officers responsible for distribution.
“We need to double check if stocks have arrived,” he said, adding that the fight against TB was on-going and was being further complicated by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The Angau Memorial General Hospital has 100 adult and 20 children registered TB patients.