The Diabetes Association of Malawi has expressed concern over the erratic supply of diabetes drugs in the country.
The association said the situation continues to threaten lives of diabetic patients as some of them cannot afford to buy the drugs from private pharmacies.
The association’s Central Region treasurer, Charles Saidi, said this in Lilongwe last week during a Journalists Association Against Aids (JournoAids) discussion on diabetes drugs status in the country.
Said Saidi: “We are worried about the issue of availability of diabetes drugs. The drugs are found in hospitals for about two months and after that you have several months of shortage. Many people are dying of diabetes. Some are having their legs amputated.”
Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) corporate services director David Nungu said the ongoing reforms at the trust would ensure steady availability of the drugs in the country’s hospitals.
He said currently CMST has bought 4 300 units of insulin solution and 7 297 units of insulin zinc for diabetic patients.
“We are confident that the current stocks of diabetes drugs and the next consignments we are expecting to get will take care of the situation,” he said.
Ministry of Health deputy director Albert Khuni said the ministry is working with CMST to ensure all challenges in procurement of diabetes drugs and other medical supplies are addressed.
“As a ministry we are participating at every level of the drug procurement and distribution chain to ensure that drugs are not stolen,” said Khuni.
JournoAids programme manager Dingaan Mithi said all stakeholders need to join hands to successfully fight diabetes in the country, saying statistics show that about six out of every 100 people in Malawi are diabetic.