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Monday, January 24, 2022

There is Critical Shortage of Drugs in Public Hospitals and Clinics, PS Kasonka is not telling the truth

Health There is Critical Shortage of Drugs in Public Hospitals and Clinics, PS...

New Heritage Party Vice President Samuel Kasankha has challenged the views of Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services, Lackson Kasonka, that there are no shortages of medicine in public hospitals.

In a statement released to the media, Mr. Kasankha said that the greater majority of patients are still having to buy their own medicines, and wondered why there are still a lot of instances where patients are walking away with prescriptions and not getting drugs at the hospital pharmacies if the drugs are available at public hospitals and clinics.

Mr. Kasankha said that to suggest that those who say there are shortages of medicines are “peddling lies” is an insult to many members of the public who have been subjected to endless prescriptions.

Mr. Kasankha advised the Permanent Secretary to make some impromptu visits or send some people, incognito, to hospitals so that he comes back with the correct picture on the availability of medicines, adding that the greater majority of patients are still having to buy their own medicines.

Below is the full statement

PURPORTED AVAILABILITY OF DRUGS IN HEALTH FACILITIES

Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services, Lackson Kasonka, is quoted in the media as categorically stating that there is no shortages of medicine in public hospitals. And as for those diagnosed with mild signs of COVID 19, he says they are not given medicine but are only advised to isolate and adhere to doctors’ instructions, adding that Zinc and Azithromycins which people are buying are a waste of time and money because they don’t treat coronavirus.

We wish to advise the permanent secretary to make some impromptu visits or send some people, incognito, to hospitals so that he comes back with the correct picture on the availability of medicines. The greater majority of patients are still having to buy their own medicines. If medicines are available his ministry must find out why there are still a lot of instances where patients are walking away with prescriptions and not getting drugs at the hospital pharmacies. To suggest that those who say there are shortages of medicines are “peddling lies” is an insult to many members of the public who have been subjected to endless prescriptions.

With respect to people with coronavirus who are not admitted to hospitals, people ARE BEING GIVEN PRESCRIPTIONS of the very Zinc, Azithromycin, Vitamin C and Brustan which Dr Kasonka claims are a waste of time and money. The ministry needs to put its house in order and stop its professional staff from prescribing drugs (or whatever else) which they well know do not work. What is the point behind these prescriptions which a lot of us who have one time or another tested positive are given if the permanent secretary, himself a professional, now says are ineffectual?

Even those who are self-prescribing these drugs have either had prescriptions before by doctors or clinicians, or have heard from others who were once prescribed the same.

To enjoy our inalienable right to health, we must, apart from receiving the best possible treatment when the need arises, also be made privy to all information that we need to have about diseases, illnesses, large scale outbreaks or pandemics etc., so that we, as communities, take the right remedial or preventative measures against the same. The Patients Rights Charter (which must be displayed at the Receptions of all health facilities) provides that patients MUST know whatever drugs are prescribed to them, alternatives if any, and how they work including their possible side effects. The Charter allows the patient to choose if there are options between many drugs or refuse medication altogether.

The Ministry of Health is proving unreliable by its own officials contradicting each other on how to deal with those found with mild symptoms of COVID 19.

We repeat that they synchronise their operations so that no one is prescribing irrelevant drugs which come at a financial cost and whose side effects we don’t know when taken needlessly.

The ministry must engage in massive awareness creation on the COVID 19 pandemic beyond the need for vaccination instead of the permsec lambasting victims of the ineptitude among the different categories of medical stuff.

We have prescriptions from government institutions for the same Zinc and Azithromycins which we can avail to the permsec to prove it’s him and his officers who are behind the purchases of medicines that don’t work.

We end by repeating the need to display the Patients Rights Charter at all hospitals and adhering to its dictates so that we discontinue getting medication that we don’t need.

Samuel Kasankha
Vice President
New Heritage Party

14 COMMENTS

  1. This is true. While previous partial shortages were due to pilfering, this one is due to lack of delivery….no drugs available for patients or for pilfering. It’s a real shortage. I have to buy my BP medicine from private pharmacies.

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  2. The same health workers who have worked under successive govts are still lingering on. Pilferage of drugs has been a major hinderance to service delivery in the health sector. Something drastic must be done to curb the vice.

  3. It could be pilfering still on going coupled with a lack of delivery. My cousins back home keep telling me that we have a worse situation in public hospitals. The claim was that come January 1, 2022 when the government of h² start using their budget, all will be rosy at health facilities.
    It turns out that talk is cheap. PS, stop politicking and do impromptu snap checks and stop insulting Zambians intelligence as advised. What Samuel has put across, vis covid 19, is true and can be collaborated by people back home. When I first heard about it, I was like Is Zambian Government messing with Covid-19?

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  4. These health workers have some small drug
    Stores were they take these drugs for sale.
    So problem of drug shortage will never end.

  5. I keep saying the fastest way to get rid of corruption is to shorten times between operations and logistics. What this will inevitably imply is an examination of things like middle men, artificial (or vestigial, or redundant) jobs and dubious processes. Ndiye basi. Anything short of this will be a perpetuation of age-old useless practices that have resulted in politicians going at each other. Get down and dirty a mambala.

  6. We were told that Barry will fix it, where has Barry gone is Barry sleeping is this man the fixer confused or is he still campaigning on the roads.
    Zambians are disappointed with this team of liars.

  7. Not matter how much money is allocated to the Ministry of Health for the purchase of medicines, there will still be medicine shortages. There is need to go back to the old system where Medical Stores had trucks to deliver medicines directly to district hospitals. Delivering medicines only up to the provincial medical hubs and instructing district hospitals not equipped with adequate transport to pick these drugs from the provinces only leads to long delays and expiry of drugs at provinces. There should also be a way of creating an inventory of medicines at every level and developing a water-tight system of monitoring medicines that are being given out on a daily basis and what remains in store to help deal with the scourge of the pilfering of medicines. A close and regular check on the…

  8. … sources of medicines being sold in drugs stores outside hospital premises should be carried out to ensure these drug stores and chemists are not used as a conduit for pilfered medicines from public hospitals. Those working in public hospitals should also not be allowed to run private chemists and drug stores.

  9. The inventory of medicines in store at district, provincial and national level should be computer-based. It is time a computer data base of medicines purchased and supplied in all public health institutions country-wide was created to ensure easy monitoring from a central position.

  10. Lets improve if that’s the case and be truthful. Am yet to see the improvement as at now but this can be one of the quick wins. It is not everything that is supposed to take time to improve ba Kateka.

  11. This is true there are no drugs in majority of hospitals and clinics. This PS better be careful as time for lies and mediocracy are now gone.

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