BY JORDAN SIMEON-PHIRI
Community leaders around Mlare dispensary in Paramount Chief Kyungu have reasoned with health authorities to deal with the challenge of acute shortage of drugs and essential medical supplies at the facility in order for the people to enjoy the much touted universal health coverage.
Mlare health centre management committee (HCMC) chairperson Vyanangika Mkwala and senior group village headman Mwakabanga made the call on Friday when Wilson Sichali donated assorted drugs to the facility to ease the challenges people are facing at the health facility.
He said: “The erratic supply of drugs and essential medical supplies has negatively affected health service delivery because there are times when patients are told to go and buy drugs at a pharmacy. This is defeating the essence of universal health coverage”.
Mkwala further reiterated the call from well wishers to finish the construction of a maternity wing at the facility that stalled at foundation level in 2019.
On his part, senior group village headman Mwakabanga said there is need for the District Health Office to revise the budget for health facilities in the district, saying over the years the area has registered a population boom.
However, in an interview yesterday, Karonga District director of health and social services David Sibale stocks of medicine and medical supplies depend largely on what they request from the Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST).
“Our role is to plan properly on what we need from CMST in terms o drugs and essential medical supplies and submit. So, the availability of the same depends also on what CMST has in store otherwise it is not our wish to have health facilities that do not have drugs”, he said.
In an interview after the donation, Sichali said the donation was meant to supplement government’s efforts to stock the health facility for people to enjoy robust health to enable them contribute meaningfully to socio economic development of the country.
He said: “This donation is part of Christmas and New Year celebrations to make sure that people have access to drugs for them to enjoy robust health because it is a health nation that can contribute to the development of the country”.
The health facility serves a population of about 13, 000 people.