Madang districts run short of drugs

National, Normal

The National- Thursday, February 10, 2011


DISTRICT health centres in Madang have run out of medical drugs.

Patients had been forced to pay for medicine they could not afford at private pharmacies in town.

The present situation resulted from the prolonged closure of the province’s medical store which had been supplying the much-needed drugs to all health centres and the Modilon General Hospital.

The medical store had been closed since December after the town’s environmental health inspector declared the building unfit for occupation due to its rotting structure caused by termites.

Since the closure, medical drugs had not been released to aid posts, health centres and the general hospital. 

Health authorities were under pressure to relocate the thousands of kina worth of medical drugs currently stored in the condemned building to the maritime college.

The college early last month agreed to provide storage space for the medical supplies for a year, free of charge.

Acting health director Paul Mabong said they were doing all they could to relocate the supplies and re-open the medical store.

“The drugs are ready to be moved but we are waiting to receive 50 pallets needed to load the supplies and transport to the new location. 

“Hopefully, the drugs would be available next week as the districts are coping badly with the shortage of medical supplies,” Mabong said.

Modilon General Hospital chief executive officer Christine Gawi said the closure of the medical store had also affected the operations of the main hospital with patients having to be sent with prescriptions to private pharmacies to buy their medicine.

“Since last Friday, we have arranged with the Lae medical store to supply drugs for Modilon. We received our first supply of drugs yesterday,” Gawi said.