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Health facility in dire need of drug supply, staff

A health facility in Malongo sub-location within Gwassi North is allegedly facing a severe shortage of drugs for its patients.

Brenda Peterson, a nurse at Malongo Dispensary said the facility had received the last batch of essential drugs mid last year.

Speaking to KNA, she confirmed that they had run out of the drugs adding, they only have Antiretrovirals (ARVs).

“We ran out of the drugs months ago so we have nothing to give to our patients who are in dire need of them. The only drugs that you can be sure to get here are the ARV’s because they are distributed on a monthly basis,” she noted.

Malongo Dispensary is the only health facility in Malongo sub-location built in 2015 by the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF).

On the issue of under-staff, the dispensary has two registered nurses who manage all the operations of the facility including handling more than 50 patients daily.

There are however no doctors, laboratory technicians, clinicians, pharmacists and other specialized health personnel.

The most common illnesses reported at the facility are diarrhea cases, dermatological conditions, malaria and upper-respiratory infections.

Malongo region lacks power connectivity which is very essential for the operations of any health facility, a matter that has also proven to be a challenge for the dispensary.

Ms. Peterson said they depend on the neighboring Sindo for the storage of vaccines for immunization purposes.

“We have difficulties in terms of immunization because we do not have electricity and so we are forced to buy gas to power our fridges enabling us to store vaccines,” she said.

“When we run out of gas like we do now, we are forced to take the vaccines to the sub-county facility which is very far from here and we have to transport them on a daily basis to ensure our children do not miss their immunization,” she added.

For malaria testing, the nurses use a diagnostic test kit called Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests (MRDTs) which does not require electricity.

Ms. Peterson decried the lack of a standard maternity unit for the mothers in the village adding, “We improvised a room to help mothers when they come in so that we can conduct deliveries and help them,” Ms. Peterson stated.

She implored the government to intervene by setting up a good maternity unit to help the residents during child delivery.

By Sitna Omar

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