News, Unity State

Unity state under shortage of drugs

By Yien Gattuor Mead Kuich

Health facilities in Unity state including Bentiu Hospital are in a critical shortage of essential drugs, according to authorities.

Bentiu Hospitality Director, Dr. Banen Non, expressed concern that patients are in a dire situation as health facilities struggle with drug shortages.

The hospital director explained that United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) which were expected to provide medicine have not responded.

He said that earlier communication with the Unity State Ministry of Health in the month of May, there has never been any positive result.

The director however attributed the failure of drug delivery partly to the lack of proper roads to the area.

“Drugs have not reached Bentiu Hospital due to road inaccessibility and flooded issues between Unity State and Abiemnom County in Ruweng Administrative Area” he added.

The director disclosed that authorities have equally raised concerns about the lack of drug shortages, not only in Bentiu Hospital but all health facilities in Unity State.

He said that even Primary Care Centers (PCC) and Primary Health Care Units (PHCU) in the state do not have essential drugs.

Mr. Non appealed to health partners to intervene in supplying medical drugs to Unity State, saying the region is in urgent need and the lives of the community are at stake.

“The drug supplies that were dispatched have not yet reached Unity State. The population is in desperate need of medication to treat their illnesses,” Mr. Non said.

He stressed that every day, the community loses members due to lack of access to required drugs.

Meanwhile, at least 29 health facilities in Leer County are also grappling with drug shortage like others in the state.

The county health director, Nyalada Banding said that patients are in a dire situation as health facilities run short of drug supplies.

According to Nyalada emergency drug supplies were delivered to Leer County in the last three months by Unity State’s Ministry of Health with partners and UN agencies.

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

Unity State’s acting minister of health; Stephen Tot Jokchieng reported an increase in diseases such as malaria, amoeba, and diarrhea, saying, due to a lack of drugs, these cases remain untreated.

Jokchieng confirmed the insufficient supply of drugs across the seven counties, saying not just Bentiu Hospital, but other healthcare facilities were affected.

“The shortage of drugs is affecting various facilities in Bentiu,” he acknowledged.

Jokchieng added that he was informed by the Bentiu Hospital administrator and the health department that the drug shortage is prevalent in all areas of Unity State.

However, he expressed hope that the drug supplies might arrive within the next two weeks, potentially alleviating the crisis.

“The trucks carrying our drug supplies arrived in Abiemnom County of Ruweng Administrative Area in June. Their intended route was to continue to Bentiu, the headquarters of Unity State,” the acting minister stated.

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