The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) Central Region’s Nyeri County Coordinating Committee has decried the acute shortage of essential drugs in the local health facilities.
Speaking on Thursday during a presser at the ACK Mt. Kenya Guest House in Nyeri town, the committee led by the Chairman Simon Njoroge said the most affected are the vulnerable populations in terms of poverty, disability and those with mental illness.
“The increased mental health crisis worsened by the negative impact of Covid-19 is further compounded by the low health investments and uncoordinated response/interventions among various stakeholders,” Njoroge noted.
Njoroge claimed that in some worse cases, patients have been forced to buy syringes in order to get injection services from some health facilities.
He added, “The very people who are hard hit economically are being forced to pay unbearable costs to stay alive.”
The committee noted that shortage of essential drugs is an impediment to the war on non-communicable diseases which ravage the county. “We are greatly concerned that many users of public health services, especially persons living with non-communicable diseases including mental health, cancer, diabetes and hypertension continue to face persistent shortage of essential drugs and commodities,” they said.
The committee asked the devolved unit, especially the County Assembly Health Services Committee, to immediately give a status update on essential commodities and the measures being put in place to address the shortage.
They raised concern of the uncontrolled influx of drugs and substances in the region that have continued to fuel addiction, dysfunctional families, suicides, insecurity, gender based violence further worsening the mental health situation.
The committee urged the Ministry of Interior to enforce available laws and guidelines that seek to control and eliminate alcohol and drug use.
By Mwangi Gaitha