A serious shortage of drugs for chronic ailments including high blood pressure (BP) and diabetes has hit most rural health centres in Beitbridge West constituency where about 10 percent of the population are on these drugs, an official has said.
Beitbridge West parliamentarian Cde Ruth Maboyi said in a recent interview that she has been touring most primary health care facilities in the area and that the situation was deplorable.
She said there was an urgent need for Government and its partners to look into the drug stocks before the situation gets out of hand.
"The situation at most clinics is very critical," said Cde Maboyi. "They are facing a lot of challenges. What is so touching is the unavailability of essential drugs to treat chronic diseases, mostly BP and diabetes.
"It's scary because the majority of the patients are the elderly, some have no access to modern drugs in the urban settlements.
"I am worried that some of the people will end up defaulting on treatment due to the unavailability of the medication.
"I want to encourage the Ministry of Health and Child Care to treat this matter with the urgency it deserves.
"Besides a shortage of drugs, some of the clinics are understaffed, while others have a problem with accommodation for expecting mothers.
"For example, at Madzive they have two rooms housing an average of 15 women, which is (not acceptable) and at Chamnangana and Tongwe clinics they are having the same problems."
Cde Maboyi said the health challenges in the areas had been exacerbated by the shortage of primary health care facilities with most people having to travel more than 15km to access ser- vices.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards no person should travel more than 8km to access health care