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House to probe nationwide drug shortage

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The House of Representatives instructs its committee on Health to
look into the alarming shortage of essential medical drugs at various hospitals across the country and report in one week.

The mandate came after Representatives Ivar K. Jones
of Margibi County electoral district#2 and Matthew Joe of Grand
Bassa County district#3 wrote plenary, seeking the indulgence of the
House to invite the Minister of Health and principal deputies to
appear before full plenary to give the status of the
public health sector in the country as it relates to the shortage
of essential medical drugs and logistical supplies to public health
facilities.

According to Rep. Jones, based on a communication he received from
public health centers in his district and the C. H. Rennie Hospital in Kakata, coupled with his assessment that establishes lack of essential drugs and medical consumable, laboratory consumable for testing and shortage of fuel for
generators and ambulances.

He says it is no secret that this situation is not only unique
to Margibi County, but rather in all 15 political sub-divisions of
Liberia.

In his communication, Rep. Joe brought to the attention of his colleagues an imminent shutdown of the government hospital in Buchanan city. He recalls that the hospital was established on December 15, 1946 with the sole
intent of addressing the health needs of the people of Grand Bassa
County.

He says currently, the hospital does not only cater to the health
needs of the people of Grand Bassa but also citizens from adjacent counties, including Rivercess, River Gee and Sinoe counties, respectively.

The Grand Bassa lawmaker the hospital is the only referral hospital in Buchanan City. “Imagine the loss of lives it would cause, if this hospital was to shut down due to lack of essential medical drugs, food, and petroleum products to run both the generators and ambulances’’, he laments.

The lack of drugs in hospitals is reaching crisis proportion as nearly all major hospitals across the country are virtually empty and services there have been reduced to mere prescription, including the G.W. Harley Memorial Hospital in Sanniquellie, Nimba County, Phebe Hospital in Suakoko, Bong County and the Charles Henry Rennie Hospital in Kakata, Margibi County, among others.

In his Annual Message to the 54th Legislature recently, President George Manneh Weah presented no comprehensive agenda for the health sector, but dwelled his speech of 83 pages that lasted two hours on infrastructure.
By Bridgett Milton –Editing by Jonathan Browne

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