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Drugs shortage persists in FCT-run hospitals - News - Nursesarena Forum

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Drugs shortage persists in FCT-run hospitals by katty : September 30, 2015, 10:13:10 PM
An investigation by Aso Chronicle has revealed that government-run hospitals in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) lack some essential drugs at the hospitals’ pharmacies.
Our reporters who visited  the Wuse District Hospital discovered that despite the hospital having three pharmacy outlets, one at the Accident and Emergency unit, one at the General Out-Patient Department (GOPD) on the ground floor, and one on the first floor of the hospital building, at least eight in 10 patients don’t get all their prescribed drugs at these pharmacies.
Some of the patients who spoke to Aso Chronicle revealed that if four or five drugs were prescribed at the hospital, they were likely to get just two or three out of the five. They either get the rest at Zagbayi or Agape pharmacies, which are strategically located  a few metres from the hospital.
 A former executive director, Administration and Finance in the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), who simply gave his name as Mr. Adeleye, explained that the hospitals could not have all the drugs available at their pharmacies because that is the way hospitals in Nigeria generally, are being run.
He said he could only get one of the two prescribed drugs for his son whom was at the surgical ward of the hospital.
 The number of drugs patients could not get from the pharmacy, however, varies. While Tarshi Terna, a patient, could get only one out of the seven prescribed drugs at the pharmacy, Mr. Paul Oja, another patient could not get three of the four prescribed drugs.
 Mr. Oja said his wife went for the drugs outside the hospital leaving him with their ill son. “What if she had come alone, would she have gone searching for the drugs with my sick son?
“The government should do more in this regard because it is the expensive drugs that are not sold in the hospital pharmacy,” he said.
 A tired Mrs Oja with another baby strapped to her back said she bought the remaining prescribed drugs from a pharmacy outside the hospital. The drugs she showed to our reporter included some injections too.
 A staff from the Public Relations Department at District Hospital, Aisha Abubakar, said the hospital was doing all it could to serve the public well.
She explained that the Public Relations Department always liaised with the pharmaceutical section and other sections to ensure that all the patients get the best treatment available at the hospital.
She, however, admitted that sometimes they run short of some drugs due to the influx of patients to the hospital due to its central location.
“Due to our strategic location and pressure from patients, I mean the influx of patients to the hospital, we sometimes run short of drugs at the pharmacy, which is always for a limited time,” she said.
Some of the people who spoke to Aso Chronicle lamented the inadequacy of drugs at the government hospitals’ pharmacies. They said the hospitals have created a money-making opportunity  for private pharmacies.
 A patient in Abaji, Ismaila Adamu, told our reporters that he once had an unpalatable experience at the Abaji General Hospital.
According to him, he was having severe headache and insomnia one night and decided to go to the hospital before daybreak. On getting to the hospital on a motorbike because he couldn’t even drive, he saw a doctor and drugs were prescribed, but he couldn’t get most of the drugs at the hospital pharmacy.
 “Four drugs were prescribed, but when I got to the pharmacy, I only got one. I had to wait till the following morning before I could go to Gwagwalada to buy the remaining three.
“I was surprised that I couldn’t get the drugs even at the Specialist Hospital, Gwagwalada. It was at the Life Link Pharmacy that I got the remaining three drugs,” he said.
He said he was treating hypertension and it took the grace of God for him to survive that night.
“I thought I was going to die that night, but thank God I pulled through. When I got to the hospital pharmacy and could not get three of the  drugs, I almost collapsed,” he added.
When one of our reporters contacted a pharmacist at the hospital, he declined to give his name because he was not authorised to talk to the press, but he said  that prescribed drugs were always available at the pharmacy.
He, however, acknowledged that “the central store sometimes runs short of some drugs.”
Alhough he said that most drugs were always available, especially on emergency cases, he admitted that patients are sometimes referred to registered pharmacies to get drugs that are not in stock at the hospital pharmacy.
“But it is very difficult for patients to come here without getting the prescribed drugs. If we don’t have them, it means we have run out of stock,” he explained, adding that the solar fridge where drugs are stored could hardly prevent drugs from expiring if not sold on time.
He said that about 75 per cent of prescribed drugs were always available, and that the pharmacy runs out of stock due to high demands.
“You see, the ideal thing is that some of the drugs doctors prescribe to patients cannot be in stock as they may get expired due to irregular demand from the patients,” he said.
At the Kwali General Hospital, a nurse who craved anonymity said only drugs with high demand rates are always in stock.
“The issue is that there are some drugs that are not on a high demand; so by the time you keep them inside the solar refrigerator, they would expire. This is because, even at the central store where the pharmacist goes to get the drugs, they are always careful as they wouldn’t want to lose,” he said.
Our reporter observed that some patients at the Abaji and Kwali general hospitals always get most of their prescribed drugs at private pharmacies outside the hospitals,  and mostly at costly rates. 
Most of the patients who spoke with Aso Chronicle expressed dismay that the only general hospital in the area council did not have adequate drugs to cater for the health needs of the local peasants. 
At the Bwari General Hospital, the story is basically the same. Aso Chronicle observed how patients who wore long faces moved weakly and dejectedly from the hospital pharmacy to private pharmacies outside.  For most of them who spoke with our reporters, it is a heartbreaking experience to go to a public hospital where they thought services would be subsidised, only to be told they could not get such services there.
Habiba Usman, a patient who said she  was diagnosed with high blood pressure at the Bwari General Hospital, lamented that she has been coming for checkup every month for about two years now but she hardly gets drugs at the hospital’s pharmacy.
  She said that at various times, she had to buy prescribed drugs at private pharmacies. 
“Sometimes I begin to wonder the essence of coming to the hospital when you cannot get drugs there. I am beginning to think that it would be better to just go to a pharmacist and complain to him or her and pay for the drugs and walk away.
  “You go to a public hospital and spend the whole day there, only to be told at the pharmacy that certain drugs are out of stock, and you start looking for where to buy the drugs. It is really sad,” she said.
  Another patient at the Bwari hospital, Peace Daniel, said that after running a series of tests, she was diagnosed with toilet infection and the doctor prescribed drugs for her, but on getting to the pharmaceutical store, she was told that most of them were out of stock.   
  “I really felt bad because these are anti-biotics. I am not sure of the ones I will buy at private pharmacies outside. I have the thinking that since government is the provider for social services like health, and is also the regulator in the health sector, it would always ensure that drugs at the government-run hospitals are authentic and more efficacious. But when you are buying outside, you don’t know what you are buying, whether authentic or counterfeit. Government has the responsibility to ensure that these services are  rendered to the members of the public at public institutions,” she said.     
However, Emmanuel Esther, a patient at the hospital  said when her drugs were prescribed, she was able to get them in the pharmacy.   
  Aso Chronicle findings show that the general hospitals in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) receive drugs from the Central Medical Store, a department in the FCT Health and Human Service Secretariat.
 

Source :Daily Trust

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