NMS finally delivers drugs to Adjumani after three months deadlock

Casual workers offloading drug and health supplies ad DHOs store at Adjumani district headquarters on THursday, February 15, 2024

Adjumani, (UG):- The National Medical Stores (NMS) Thursday delivered a consignment of Essential Medicines and Health Supplies (EMHS) to the Adjumani district ending three months of deadlock of severe drug stockouts at various health centres which had turned the facilities into diagnostic centres.

DailyExpress understands that lower-level health facilities (health centres IIs and IIIs) last received EMHS on October 12, 2023, while Adjumani General Referral Hospital and Mungula Health Center IV last received drugs on December 12, 2023.

Addressing journalists immediately after the arrival of the consignment, the Adjumani District Assistant DHO, Mr. Lulu Henry said, the district received cycle 1 of the drugs consignment in October 2023, and since then the district has been grappling with the stockouts of Essential drugs, equipment, and other health supplies.

“We are still however trying to verify if the consignment is being offloaded to meet the needs based on the orders we have submitted to NMS because our orders are at times distorted,” Mr Lulu said, adding that the stockouts of drugs have seriously affected health service delivery in government facilities leading to a drastic drop in OPD attendance as patients were referred to pharmacies and clinics for drugs after diagnosis in health facilities.

“Last financial year the district received 4 out of 6 drug cycles which has a huge bearing on the management of drugs in the current financial year (2024-2025) meaning if we received the balance of the two cycles the gaps created would have been filled and extended to future drug use,” he lamented.

“Unfortunately, the district didn’t get additional supplies to cover up the gaps created last financial creating a future dilemma.”

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YOU MAY READ: ADJUMANI: Health Facilities grappling drugs shortage after four months stockout

Adjumani District Assistant DHO Mr Lulu Henry briefing journalists in his office on Thursday, February 15, 2024

Owing to the prolonged stockouts of drugs in government health facilities, the OPD attendance has drastically dropped for example in October 2024, the OPD attendance in Adjumani General Referral Hospital was 61.662, but in January it dropped to 9.392, according to data from the office of DHO.

The drug per capita of Adjumani District is Shs 2.000, this is against the background of a refugee population of about 225.000, meaning the refugee burden rests on the citizens reducing the drug per capita to Shs 1.000 which is also not released timely in terms of drugs supplies.

On January 29, 2924, the Adjumani Woman MP, Hon Ababiku Jesca raised the matter on the floor of parliament calling for investigations on why the submissions from districts for several deliveries of drugs were not correlating with the state of drugs received notwithstanding the irregular and much-delayed supply of drugs.

Further on February 5, 2024, she engaged the minister of state for general duties and the General Manager of NMS who both challenged her to adduce evidence to authenticate her claims and she then filed reports that she managed to quickly obtain from Adjumani DHO and the Hospital administrator Adjumani hospital.

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She said it is on such an elaborate engagement that NMS responded swiftly but the recurrent issues of delay in drug supplies have not yet been exhausted and she pledged to make a methodical trail to avert reoccurrence even on the current delivery if she had not followed keenly the supplies to West Nile region including Adjumani have been postponed to the close of next week.

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