Kabarole Health Centres Grapple With Late Deliveries of Drugs

2346 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Health centers in Kabarole district are grappling with the late delivery of drugs despite claims of significant improvements by Ministry of Health.

Health centers in Kabarole district are grappling with the late delivery of drugs despite claims of significant improvements by Ministry of Health. Last week, Dr. Christine Ondoa, the Minister of Health claimed that delivery of drugs and medical supplies had improved by 70 percent over the last one year.
In the new supply chain, health units submit their requisitions directly to NMS, which then delivers the drugs to them. Previously NMS delivered drugs to the district for onward transmission to health centers. Despite the claims of improved delivery of drugs and medical supplies, Health centers in Kabale are not receiving drugs on time from the National Medical Stores depriving patients of treatment.

At some of the health centers visited by Uganda Radio Network, drugs had not been delivered despite the health units sending the requisitions. At Bukuku health centre III, Charles Musinguzi, the in-charge says that they sent requisitions to NMS for drugs three weeks ago but they have not yet received any supplies. Musinguzi says that they expect a drug stock out within one week unless they receive a new consignment of drugs.
Karambi health center III has run out of TB and Anti Malaria tablets. Henry Mugyenyi, the in charge of the health center says that they are forced to give drugs to only patients with emergency cases, while other patients are referred to Fort Portal Referral hospital.
Mugenyi says that the health centre also lacks medical supplies like syringes and gloves, which forces them to ask patients to improvise. At Kichwamba health centre III, there were over thirty patients who wanted anti-malarial drugs but they were in small quantity.
Rehema Mujungu, a patient says that she was forced to go to the health center for the drugs because she can’t afford to buy them from pharmacies or drug shops. Faith Mugisa, the in-charge of the unit says despite the fact that they send their requisition for drugs from NMS early enough the drugs are delivered late.
She says that the medical staff is harassed by patients who think they deliberately refuse to give them drugs yet the problem lies with NMS. Moses Kamabare, the General National Medical Stores blames the late delivery of drugs on lack of enough trucks to distribute the drugs.
He says that one truck can’t deliver drugs to health centers in different regions. Kamabare says that NMS plans to purchase more trucks for each region to improve drug delivery to health centers across the country. Kamabare however says that in most cases the delay is caused by health centers which delay to send their requisitions to NMS.  
Health officials in the district have in the past accused NMS of delivering drugs to health units that have not been requested for, causing shortage of essential drugs. The units send requests to the National Medical Stores, indicating the drugs they require, but they instead deliver non- essential drugs.




About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.