HomeNewsDrugs left to expire in rural hospitals

Drugs left to expire in rural hospitals

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The Health and Child Care Parliamentary Portfolio Committee this week presented a report in the National Assembly which exposed how drugs were expiring in rural health centres and district hospitals while central hospitals were facing a serious shortage of medicines.

VENERANDA LANGA

Chairperson of the committee Ruth Labode presented the report in the House which also recommended that some hospitals like Thorngrove Infectious Disease Hospital in Bulawayo should be converted into a district hospital to ease congestion at Bulawayo Central Hospitals.

“Multi donor drugs have provided support to the vital medicines and vital health services for the district health system (75%), but the programme excludes the five central hospitals,” the report reads.

“Drugs are expiring at rural health centres and district hospitals whilst the central hospitals are in need of the same, and the pharmacy directorate at the Ministry of Health and Child Care must as a matter of urgency start a workable redistribution system of the distributed drugs to reduce the quantities of drugs expiring.”

The report said 98% of the drugs being distributed to various hospitals were donated and did not seem to be purchased with morbidity patterns in mind, and had a short shelf life of plus or minus three months in most cases.

Other issues noted by the committee in the report were abuse of cellphone and fuel allowances by chief executive officers of central hospitals, as well as poor utilisation of scarce resources by renting cars at exorbitant prices.

“Government must immediately unfreeze all frozen posts and review the establishment up-wards in line with population growth and increase in morbidity, and in accordance with the President’s pronouncement,” the report said.

They also said in their investigations they noted poor corporate governance at the Zimbabwe National Blood Transfusion Services (NBSZ), with the board chairperson being in the post since 1981.

“There is uncontrolled unit price for blood products – a unit price of blood is $200 within a society whose average wage is $150 per month,” the committee said.

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