News, Upper Nile State

Lokchuk County struggles with drug shortage

By Yien Gattuor

Lokchuk County in Upper Nile State is grappling with a drug shortage, according to the county health department.

Gatkuoth Nuer, the county health director, told the No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper that patients are in a dire situation as health facilities run short of drug supplies.

According to Gatkuoth, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (W.H.O.)   were supposed to supply drugs to Lokchuk County but nothing has been delivered up to now.

“They e-mailed the county health department in early April that they have started supplying drugs to the rest of the counties but until now, no drug has been delivered,” Gatkuoth said.

He added that, as a result of drug scarcity, the staff of the Primary Health Care Unit is not working normally.

“the local authorities, raised concerns about shortage of drug supplies in the county, which includes the hospital, 11 Primary care centers (PCC), and four Primary health care units (PHCU),” he said.

He urged the health partners supplying medical drugs to Lokchuk County to intervene.

“All our community is in need of drugs; they run out of drugs, and our community is really suffering,” Gatkuoth continued.

Emergency drug supplies to Lokchuk County in the last three months were sent by Upper Nile State’s Ministry of Health with partners and UN agencies.

“The drug supplies that were sent are not enough for the Lokchuk County population; our community is dying on a daily basis due to a shortage of drug supplies,” Gatkuoth hinted.

A county health official said they registered many diseases such as malaria, amoeba, and diarrhea, but due to a lack of drugs, they could not treat those cases.

Meanwhile, Upper Nile State’s Ministry of Health director general, Dr. Isaac Kwongo Ogilo, confirmed that there are not enough drug supplies in all 13 counties of Upper Nile State.

But he clarified that not only health facilities in Lokchuk but also the rest of the county are affected.

“Some of the facilities in Lokchuk County are lacking in drug supplies,” he noted.

“I was informed by the county health department (CHD) in Lokchuk County that in all the areas of Lokchuk there are no medical supplies at the moment,” Kwongo added.

The state health director, however, presumes that the drug supplies may arrive in the area between this week and the next two weeks.

Nyabuany Deng is one of the residents in Lokchuk County. She voiced the community’s cry for drug supplies.

The county started experiencing drug scarcity in March of this year.

“We are requesting UN agencies to come to support us now with drug supplies; we are going to die if the government is not putting our issues on the first agenda,” she decried.

Nyabuany further stated that they don’t have the energy to trek up to Lokchuk town, which is said to have some medical supplies for patients.

Nyamal David, a resident, told the No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper over the weekend that they don’t have active facilities working right now across the county due to a shortage of drug supplies.

“The challenge facing us is that several diseases such as malaria, amoeba, and diarrhea contribute to the deaths of our young children in Lokchuk County”.

She urged the state and national governments to respond to their situation.

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