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Jinja Hospital in crisis after Covid-19 drugs run out

Jinja hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. PHOTO URN

Jinja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Jinja regional referral hospital’s pharmacy is facing a stock out of essential drugs which are highly recommended for the management of covid19 patients.

The hospital is reported to have runout of Azithromycin, Vitamin C and Zinc in early June this year and have not received supplies from national medical stores-NMS ever since. This has prompted patients to purchase them exorbitantly from private pharmacies.

Azeda Namulondo, whose mother is admitted in the Intensive care unit -ICU says that save for the routine oxygen therapies, they are often directed to purchase the rest of the supplies from private health facilities.

“The health workers are always available to attend to us at all times and they have often ensured that our patient has access to constant oxygen therapy however, we purchase the rest of the drugs ranging from vitamin C, among others from outside pharmacies,” she says.

William Olum, the Jinja hospital senior pharmacist says that the health workers are always on standby to attend to the covid-19 patients, but inadequate drug supplies have frustrated viral management, more so among the vulnerable patients who lack funds to purchase the prescribed drugs in the appropriate quantities.

Olum says that they run a bimonthly virtual budget of 200 million Shillings however, when NMS fails to supply the drugs ordered for, the funds are retained at the source and the hospital is left to operate without such drugs until such a time as when the supplies are ready.

He reveals that although they improvise by manufacturing sanitizers at the hospital, NMS has been unable to ensure timely supply of Jik, surgical masks and gloves, and this  exposes health workers to covid-19 infections.

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