For Immediate Release: Clarifications on Drug Stock-Outs in Health Facilities

Kigali Jan 08th – Following some recent media reports alleging drug stock-outs in a few health facilities especially within Kigali City, the Ministry of Health would like to inform the public that there’s no shortage of drugs in the country.

REPUBLIC OF RWANDA
MINISTRY OF HEALTH
P.O. Box 84, Kigali
www.moh.gov.rw

Kigali, Jan 08, 2013

For Immediate Release

Clarifications on Drug Stock-Outs in Health Facilities

Kigali Jan 08th – Following some recent media reports alleging drug stock-outs in a few health facilities especially within Kigali City, the Ministry of Health would like to inform the public that there’s no shortage of drugs in the country.

Particularly, the Ministry of Health would like to make the following key clarifications:

1.    Since June 2012 the Ministry of Health has been monitoring on a weekly basis the stock levels of vital medicines and supplies in the 43 District Hospitals and 30 District Pharmacies across the country after an old procurement process had been stopped for health and safety reasons.  This constant monitoring system has allowed reduction of drug stock-outs from 23% at the District Hospitals to 2% today and from 13% at the District Pharmacies to 4.9% as of 4th January 2013.

2.    In December 2012, this monitoring system was extended to National Referral Hospitals and the recent reports show a decreasing trend of stock-out in those hospitals from an average of 12% in December 2012 to 7 percent as of 4th January 2013. We are committed to reducing these figures even further to ensure availability of all key drugs within our health facilities.

3.    The problem of drug stock-out reported in Kibagabaga hospital during the festive season was a result of delays in payment of an outstanding bill that this hospital owed to the Gasabo district pharmacy. This too, was linked to the delay in footing the hospital bill by the district mutuelle pooling system. However, when the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Gasabo District intervened immediately, the problem was instantly solved as communicated through Media last Friday.

4.    The information issued by The New Times on the 08th January 2013 is an exaggeration of the situation and should not be considered as a general picture of availability of drugs and other health commodities in the country. There’s no shortage of essential drugs and only problem we identified in Kibagabaga district was a result of poor coordination between different entities at local level, which we immediately addressed.

5.    The Ministry of Health in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government are committed to be more vigilante in coordinating the and improving the management of stocks of medicines and other health commodities at district level to respond adequately to the expectation of our patients.

Done in Kigali on the Jan 8th, 2013

Dr. Agnes BINAGWAHO
Minister of Health

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