In an effort to addressing the numerous challenges that have engulfed the health sector, the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health, and the National Drugs Service announces here that 10 containers of medical equipment have arrived to supply various health centers and clinics across the country.
In a news conference at the National Drugs Service office in Samukai Town, Caldwell Township, Montserrado County, the Minister of Health Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah explains that one of the many challenges government is faced is lack of medical equipment to address citizens’ health conditions.
“As you may be aware, one of the main problems that we are facing in the health sector that every citizens complain about is the shortage of essential medicine, including shortage of HIV Drugs or malaria and Tuberculosis drugs”, says Dr. Jallah.
She says the ministry has been proactive through the instrumentality of President George M. Weah, the Ministry of Finance and all of its partners to procure a lot of essential drugs for the country.
The Health Minister continues that over the last two weeks, the ministry received eight containers of essential medication, and that additional two containers are on the way for distribution to all 15 counties.
However, Minister Jallah also expresses concern over alleged disappearance of drugs distributed to various health centers across the country, adding “When we distribute the drugs to various counties, it disappear before the projected period and this is next challenge that we are facing.”
Outlining security plans for the protection of drugs brought into the country, Minister Jallah narrates that the ministry will work with every county legislative caucus, and county inspectors, informing them about the distribution plans to allow drugs reach the people, who are end users.
Doctor Jallah stresses that every county receiving drugs, supply is expected to last for three months before next consignment. “We will be monitoring how those drugs will be used on patients. You can’t tell us that those drugs did not last for a month; that’s not possible, because we will not joke about arresting people who will be caught.”
She says officials of the ministry will be listening and watching people, who will want to steal or misuse the drugs and then complain about drugs shortage, saying, “because we do have more drugs to distribute and we also want to put the issue of drugs shortage aside and move on.”
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the National Drugs Service BoakaiBoley, says the NDS is an arm of the Ministry of Health that has been working over the years in making sure that medicines are procured and distributed across the country.
Boley notes that drugs brought in the country are sufficient and put the total value at US$ 3-4 million, adding that they are going to follow up on every county in making sure that the drugs stay for the intended purpose.
The NDS boss discloses that the entire country has been categorized into regions and zones for the distribution exercise, adding, “As we speak, distribution will begin few days from now to various health centers for onward distribution to clinics.”
By Lewis S. Teh–Editing by Jonathan Browne