Amidst COVID-19, Medical Facilities in Nimba Face Shortage of Drugs

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Gbarlay Clinic, Nimba County

Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, health facilities in Nimba County are said to be facing “acute shortage”of drugs and others essential supplies such as nose masks to fight against of  the pandemic.

The Officer-in-Charge of the Zuaplay Clinic in Doe Administration District, Harrison L. L. Garwon, says the clinic in this local village lacks supplies and is therefore calling on the government and humanitarian groups  to help the clinic with essential drugs and equipment to serve the community.

Garwon said the clinic is without drugs and patients are given prescriptions to go out to purchase essential drugs in private drug stores.

“The only supply we are receiving is paper to make more prescriptions for the patients. We are not receiving common malaria pills or pain tablets, and the rate of malaria is alarming,” said the Zuaplay Clinic OIC.

“Let the authority know that besides COVID-19, other diseases are affecting the people and they need to be treated. So, it is prudent to ensure that all health centers get the required drugs to treat the people.”

Since the first COVID-19 case in Nimba County, the Administrator of Bahn Health Center, Arthur Gaypue has been complaining about the lack of hand sanitizer, Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), thermometers.

He has also stressed the need for a vehicle to be provided the hospital to transfer suspected patients to the referral hospital.

Gaypue said the health center is observing all health protocols, including social distancing and hand-washing, but the lack of the PPEs and other materials remains a challenge.

Bahn Health Center caters to several communities including the Bahn Refugee Camp. Several other health facilities are facing similar shortage of drug and other basic medical supplies.

Linda Dekpah, Officer-in-Charge of Kanwee Clinic near Saclapea, also decries the shortage of PPEs, hand gloves, nose masks and other essential medical supplies. She is calling on the health authority to ensure that the clinic receives teh needed supplies.

She recently told Radio Saclepea that the shortage of these materials poses danter to health workers that  they can contract COVID-19 at any time.

At the same time, a nurse on the emergency ward at the United Methodist Hospital in Gnata city, speaking on a condition of anonymity, said that there is a huge shortage of nose mask, face shield and hand gloves in the hospital.

Amid the complaints, the administrator of Ganta United Methodist Hospital, Mr. Allen Zomoway claims, “Everything is going well at the hospital since the outbreak of COVID-19.”
He explained that the hospital has been managing the little resources it has, including drugs, medical equipment and even the PPE.

“We treated one of our staffs who came down with the coronavirus in this hospital and we are keeping all the health protocols,” Mr. Zomoway said.

He, however, said the hospital has increased the cost of its medical service. Inpatient now pay L$ 800 instead of the previous L$5,000 for a night. The increase in fee is preventing many poor people from seeking medication at the hospital.

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