Siaya public hospitals hit by drug shortage

Most public hospitals in Siaya county have been hit by shortage of drugs.

A spot check by The Standard revealed that a number of health centres and dispensaries have been without drugs for the past one month.

Health facilities like Midhine, Marenyo in Gem sub-county have no basic drugs like paracetamol and amoxicillin.

Charles Onguko, a resident of Gem sub-county, said he met a school boy last Friday who was from the hospital and in pain but had not been given any drugs.

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"He appeared very unwell and was crying, so I stopped him and asked what the problem was. He gave me a hospital card from Midhine facility where he was advised to buy paracetamol and amoxicillin from outside. I had to send someone to Luanda to get the drugs," said Onguko.

Sigomere Ward Manager Vin Haira said local residents had raised concerns over lack of drugs in health facilities.

"We have intelligence information that some pharmacists employed in the health facilities have their private pharmacies where they sell drugs stolen from the hospitals. This has highly contributed to the shortage," said Haira.

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A health worker from the county referral hospital who sought anonymity said there were no paracetamol and intravenous fluids like saline.

"This is the situation in almost all the health facilities. The commodities are in low supply at the moment. The county government owes all the suppliers and none of them wants to give us drugs. The suppliers insist that they can only supply if they get at least 50 per cent payment, " said the health worker.

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Central Alego MCA Leonard Oriaro said that there have been no drugs in all the seven health facilities in his ward for the last two months.

Health Executive Dorothy Owino said that they had already ordered for the drugs, non pharmaceuticals and other essential supplies from MEDS, a supplier, to the tune of Sh30 million. 

The CEC claimed that there has been a delay in delivery but noted that they had been assured facilities will get commodities within seven days.

"In the meantime, managers are conducting redistribution of essential commodities from facilities that still have adequate stock levels to minimise instances of users missing the same," she said through a text message.

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Siaya countyDrugs ShortageCentral AlegoHealth Executive Dorothy Owino