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Kabale Hospital, Kamukira Health Centre IV Run Out of Essential Drugs for COVID

The health facilities are struggling to manage the patients at the treatment centre over shortage of drugs. The common drugs for treating COVID 19 patients are Azithromycin, Zinc, vitamin C and Vitamin D.
Kabale regional referral hospital drugs store (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya)

Audio 5

Kamukira Health Centre IV in Kabale Municipality and Kabale Regional Referral Hospital have run out of drugs used in the treatment of COVID 19 and other general illnesses.

According to Ivan Mubangyizi, Kabale Municipality Health Officer says that Kamukira Health Centre IV lacks azithromycin, dexamethasone, zinc, vitamin C and vitamin D drugs.

Mubangyizi says that however much the facility provides services to over 10,000 people every month, it was also given a responsibility to monitor Covid-19 patients under the Home-Based Care system in Central and Southern Divisions.

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Rodney Tabaruka, a senior Pharmacist at Kabale regional referral hospital and also the Kigezi region in charge of drug supplies told MPs on the Covid-19 task force that the hospital currently has no essential drugs such as tocilizumab, Budesonide inhaler, Rivaroxaban, Clexane, Pipracil, Flucamox, Enoxaparin sodium.

Tabaruka says attendants of Covid-19 patients are forced to use their money to buy the drugs. Tabaruka however says that it is also very difficult for covid-19 attendants to buy the drugs because of being scarce and expensive.

Tabaruka cites an example of tocilizumab drug which costs 3.4 Million Shillings a dose.

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Alfred Besigensi, Kabale District Health Officer says that most of the essential drugs recommended for managing Covid-19 were not part of the kit which is supplied by National Medical Stores (NMS). He also says that some of the drugs like tocilizumab, Budesonide, Clexane, Pipracil, Flucamox, Enoxaparin sodium are rarely supplied to government health facilities by NMS.

Besigensi however says that the district task force will put the essential drugs in the procurement plan within this financial year.

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But, Thaddeus Nicholas Kamara, Kabale Municipality Member of Parliament and Francis Mwijukye, Member of Parliament for Buhweju County attributes the stock out of such essential drugs to the Ministry of Health’s poor planning.

They wonder why the ministry did not project earlier that there will be another Covid-19 wave so that they prepare for it.

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