Minister of Health Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah

LIBERIA: Shortage Of Drugs At Several Health Centers Worry Patients, Nurses

By Amos Harris

Minister of Health Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah

The shortage of drugs at various health institutions in the country seems to be a serious problem, with many patients are said to be left out without receiving the required medication during their visits at most of these centers.

As a result, both the ministers of Finance and Development Planning and Health are expected to appeal before members of the Senate to give reasons of these alarming situations.

However, speaking to a team of journalists over weekend at the health center, some patients are appealing to the Minister of Health Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah to provide health materials at the clinic, “Most of us are poor and can’t afford to buy drugs we are urging the Government and all other stakeholders to come together and help to end this crisis.

Nurses at the clinic said pregnant women are   health centers are finding at very difficult in given birth at the center.

Meanwhile, some pregnant women  who spoke to journalists said they are paying five   thousand Liberian dollars  for delivery  for  each  pregnant, she  said  nurses  are  now changing  patients  to pay  money  for treatment  at the center.  

Anti-malarial drugs frequently run out of the clinic, causing pregnant women not to take anti- malarial treatment during pregnancy at   the health. 

 Some poorer residents in Clara town frequently say they have to pay for medication that should be free at the health center.

The cost means patients often cut their treatment short, increasing the risk of resistant strains developing.

Doctors at the clinic did not respond to requests for an interview from a visiting New Liberia reporter.

They cited state of the health care system, which bars them from speaking to the press about these situations.

However, a senior medical professional working at the   health center, who asked for anonymity, said the lack of drugs situation has worsened at the health center.  

He said the response to the malaria outbreak had been hamstrung by increased red tape, which slowed the distribution of preventative measures such as mosquito nets.

Most sources spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issues.

Drugs shortage puts patients at peril, patients are being forced to buy from pharmacies as the county’s only referral hospital grapples with acute drugs shortage.

Doctors have said the lack of medicine has put the lives of many at risk.

She said the clinic had not received drugs for a long time.

After diagnosis, patients are referred to pharmacies outside the health center to buy the drugs required for their treatment at the clinic

Those who can’t afford the drugs go without treatment, he added. One patient called on the government to act quickly to avoid a disaster.

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