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Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Address Drug Shortages Immediately, Government Told

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The government has been called upon to address the critical drugs shortages currently prevailing in the country which has been fuelled by acute foreign currency shortages and put the lives of thousands of people at risk.

In a statement, the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) said government should move in swiftly as the drugs shortage is a huge threat to the right to healthcare in Zimbabwe.

“As ZADHR we contend that health services must be available, affordable, and acceptable and be of the right quality…

“ZADHR calls upon the government to immediately address these challenges as ignoring them will lead to grave and catastrophic health consequences. ZADHR also laments the impact of devaluation and runaway inflation on the macroeconomic environment in rendering salaries of health personnel meaningless as doctors now earn an average of four hundred and fifty United States (USD450.00) dollars and nurses now earn an average of two hundred United States dollars (USD200.00).

“This poses a huge possibility for unrest in the health workforce thus throwing the incremental gains the collective bargaining process between health workers and government that had vaccinated health workers strikes into abyss,” said ZADHR.

The statement comes amid reports that most medical insurance cards were ,as of yesterday, being rejected by most pharmacies whilst on the other hand basic antibiotics like azithromycin have gone up to forty seven dollars ($47.00) for a three day course.

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Most pharmacies are also running out of emergency medicines and the situation in public hospitals is deteriorating by each day.

Emirates

The country has been reeling from an acute shortage of foreign currency which has crippled all sectors of the economy and seen a sharp rise in price in the past few weeks

The situation has been worsened by the 2% tax increase announced earlier in the week by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Finance.

The increase has seen the market panicking and most suppliers have increase prices of basic commodities.

Meanwhile, the ZADHR called on the government to prioritize foreign currency allocations towards drug procurement, health workforce retention and provision of urgent obstetric and neonatal care. Fuel quotas must be reserved to enable health facilities and workers to timeously attend to life threatening emergencies.

“A health time bomb is looming should these issues be neglected,” reads the statement.

Currently, the country is battling to contain the spread of cholera which has seen more than 10 000 cases being reported while 50 cholera have been recorded to date.

However, government insists it is containing the medieval disease.

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Multi-award winning journalist/photojournalist with keen interests in politics, youth, child rights, women and development issues. Follow Lovejoy On Twitter @L_JayMut

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