18 October 2017

Namibia: Another Wave of Medicine Shortages Hits State Hospitals

Photo: The Guardian
Stethoscope (file photo).

Windhoek — There is a shortage of various medicines, including allergex syrup, an antibiotic medicine used to treat children, at various state facilities countrywide, New Era learned this week.

Health and Social Services Minister Dr Bernard Haufiku, who is out of the country at present, confirmed in a telephonic interview that there was indeed a shortage.

He said he knew of the shortage of specialised medication, such as those needed for cancer treatment. The shortage is particularly notable at Oshakati State Hospital, Haufiku confirmed.

After following up with management, Haufiku also found out that there was a shortage of basic medicines at several health facilities. "It appears there is that problem. Things are not going well," Haufiku admitted.

He attributed the shortage to "multiple factors", including recent budget cuts.

The minister added that the ministry has support from the Ministry of Finance, as well as the Office of the Prime Minister, in terms of assisting health institutions to fulfill their mandate and address priority areas.

"We can get as much money as we want, but if we are not communicating then many things are affected," said Haufiku, in reference to the lack of communication among leaders and health workers in the ministry.

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