The Ministry of Health yesterday said there's no shortage of drugs in the country, refuting media reports that a drugs shortage had hit Kigali hospitals.
"Following some recent media reports alleging drug stock-outs in a few health facilities especially within Kigali City, the Ministry of Health would like to inform the public that there's no shortage of drugs in the country," a statement from the Ministry of Health read.
According to the Ministry, since June 2012 it has been monitoring - on a weekly basis - the stock levels of vital medicines and supplies in the 43 District Hospitals and 30 District Pharmacies across the country after an old procurement process had been stopped for health and safety reasons.
"This constant monitoring system has allowed reduction of drug stock-outs from 23% at the District Hospitals to 2% today and from 13% at the District Pharmacies to 4.9% as of 4th January 2013."
The monitoring system was, in December, extended to National Referral Hospitals and the most recent Ministry of Health reports show a decreasing trend of stock-out in those hospitals from an average of 12% in December 2012 to 7 percent as of 4th January 2013.
"We are committed to reducing these figures even further to ensure availability of all key drugs within our health facilities," the statement adds.
During the festive season, Kibagabaga hospital was reported to be short of drugs.
The Ministry further clarified the cause of the shortage and announced that the problem has been addressed.
"The problem of drug stock-out reported in Kibagabaga hospital during the festive season was a result of delays in payment of an outstanding bill that this hospital owed to the Gasabo district pharmacy. This too, was linked to the delay in footing the hospital bill by the district mutuelle pooling system," the Ministry said.
"However, when the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Gasabo District intervened, the problem was instantly solved and communicated through Media last Friday."
"The Ministry of Health in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government are committed to be more vigilant in coordinating and improving the management of stocks of medicines and other health commodities at district level to respond adequately to the expectation of our patients."