5 June 2018

Botswana: Okavango DHMT in Short of Drugs Supply

Gumare — The Okavango District Health Management Team (DHMT) is experiencing shortage of medical drugs at its health facilities.

The Okavango Sub-district council on June 5 heard that at times only 30 per cent of the orders were received from the Central Medical Stores.

The clinic average drug availability for the DHMT is reported to be 81.5 per cent for Vital, 66.8 per cent for Essential and 36.8 per cent for necessary drugs while average availability for the hospital is 84 per cent for Vital, 83.4 per cent for essential while for necessary is 44.4 per cent.

The district average availability is 84.2 per cent for vital, 75.1 per cent essential and 40.7 per cent for necessary drugs.

However, sub-district council chairperson, Mr Mbahahauka Kambimba said the emergency drug vote had been replenished by P500 000, something he said would supplement the low drug availability from Central Medical Stores.

On a related issue, the DHMT is also said to be experiencing a shortage of midwives which resulted in most of the clinics operating with one midwife each.

"We reported previously a deficit of 18 midwives but recently we received one midwife who has been posted at Beetsha," said Mr Kambimba.

He however noted that in March, a new medical officer joined the DHMT while the Xakao medical officer and the principal medical officer have been transferred to Kweneng District.

The sub-district council chairperson said the Okavango DHMT was waiting for the headquarters to address this critical shortage of staff in the area.

For laboratory services, the DHMT received an old Hematology Analyzer from Nyangabgwe Referral hospital which is said to be experiencing frequent breakdowns.

Therefore, Mr Kambimba said a request had been made to headquarters to procure a new machine in the current financial year.

As for radiography services, the X-ray and the ultrasound machines are said to be working while the services are being rendered normally by a relief radiographer from Charleshill.

On malaria issues, the district recorded a total of 179 cases since the transmission season in October last year as compared to 1096 cases registered same period in 2016-2017.

Mr Kambimba said most of the cases were indigenous except five imported ones, while the highest numbers were coming from Seronga, Shakawe and Sekondomboro with 26, 18 and 17 cases respectively.

He said Gumare Primary Hospital admitted a total of seven complicated malaria cases, while three deaths had been recorded compared to five deaths recorded last year.

"In terms of commodities, antimalarial drug availability is 100 per cent while malaria rapid diagnostic test kits are also available but with limited stock.

The case based surveillance or contact tracing is ongoing with the aim of tracing every case detected in order to break the transmission early," he said.

BOPA

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