MoH admits shortage of drugs resulted in death

Bame Piet
ASSISTANT MINISTER: Setlhomo Lelatisitswe

Three Diabetes patients died in F/town alone

The ministry of Health has confirmed that from November 2022 to date three people have died as a result of complications related to diabetes at Nyangabwe hospital

“Countrywide, the deaths of diabetes patients account for 11.3 percent of the total deaths. This is an indication that we should change our lifestyles,” said assistant minister of Health Sethomo Lelatisitswe when contributing to the raging debate in parliament about shortage of drugs in hospitals and related deaths of patients suffering from non communicable diseases.

According to Sethomo most cancer deaths are caused by late diagnosis, which makes it difficult to treat. He added that cancer treatment facilities, equipment and specialist manpower are very scarce worldwide and locally.

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The assistant minister further noted that said the ministry has allowed most affected hospitals to procure drugs from private pharmacies as contingency measures while waiting for the Central Medical Stores to receive orders from suppliers. The recent arrivals of consignments, he said have stabilized the supply of drugs in hospitals across the country.

However, Francistown West MP Ignatius Moswaane who was assisted out of Parliament last Friday for hijacking proceedings and forcing a debate on the supply of drugs once again accused the ministry of giving false information.

“Are you aware of the fact that after my manhandling from the house, Nyangabwe Referral Hospital was ordered to purchase from Real Medicine Suppliers under emergency orders and they are finished as we speak; are you aware that Nyangabwe Hospital staff came to Gaborone on Saturday to purchase additional medicines from two suppliers at the cost of P2million and those medicines have not arrived right now?” asked Moswaane.

He also wanted to know whose responsibility it is when hospitals are unable to provide treatment for cancer patients undergoing treatment. Why did the MoH centralize procurement on CMS instead of allowing hospitals to procure medicines on their own, which was the practice prior to the recent shortage.

Lelatisitswe warned the Legislator to desist from over-reacting if he is a Hypertension patient, as that could result in loss of life. He said challenges still remain in place with regard to drug supply but there are alternative medications to cushion the shortage especially for Non Communicable Diseases.

Moswaane had tabled an urgent question for the MoH to respond to the shortage of Insulin, shortage of Hypertension medication, and shortage of Low Blood Pressure medication.

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Meanwhile, Moswaane has confirmed laying assault charges against security officers who grabbed him by the neck when he was forced out of the House last Friday.

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