Pretoria – The availability of essential drugs, like ARVs and tuberculosis medication, has stabilised in the North West, with patients getting their treatment on time.
This is thanks to the insourcing of medication by the provincial Department of Health, which has ensured a consistent supply.
The Mmabatho Medical Depot was established in 1999 to provide surgical and pharmaceutical products to primary, secondary and tertiary health facilities.
Since its inception, it was outsourced until 2011 when Health MEC Magome Masike decided to insource operations at the depot.
Annah Bodibe (51), who was diagnosed with hypertension and diabetes in 2007, says she has never experienced any trouble with her medication at the Bapong Community Health Centre.
“I have never missed a date for my follow up visits and always get my treatment. As a result, I have never had serious health problems,” said Bodibe when asked about adherence to treatment.
When given generic medication, Bodibe said she asks the nurse to explain to her why her pills have changed.
She admits to not knowing the exact names of the pills she takes and so recognizes them by their appearance.
Bodibe said although she agrees that patients suffering from other ailments may have experienced shortage of medication, she thinks people tend to exaggerate, as they are given generic medication.
According to the provincial Department of Health, the availability of essential drugs like anti-retroviral and tuberculosis drugs has stabilised at 96% – 100% since they took control of the medical depot in 2011.
“We promised to turn around the situation by substantially increasing availability of drugs and medicine. I am happy to report that the situation has improved and continues to improve,” said MEC Masike during his recent visit to the depot.
“I need to emphasize that turning around the medical depot is work in progress. The expanded pharmacy at both Ganyesa Hospital and Bloemhof Community Health Centre will help with bulk storage of medication and other essential drugs to substantially add to our efforts of ensuring constant availability of medication in our facilities,” he said.
Medical depot manager Sarah Mokgatlha said the depot now has weekly deliveries to hospitals.
Source : SAnews.gov.za