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MPS MISS OPPORTUNITY TO QUESTION MINISTER ON EXPIRED DRUGS

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LOBAMBA – Members of Parliament (MPs) missed the opportunity to question Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi on the issue of expired drugs that were given to patients.

The Times of Eswatini reported three days ago that patients’ lives were at serious risk following allegations that government’s lack of proper storage facilities had led to expired drugs being dispatched to hospitals and ultimately being given to patients. The MPs were banking on the adoption of the report of the Ministry of Health Portfolio Committee on the Pharmacy Bill 2021, which Maseyisini MP Mduduzi Dlamini was supposed to move that the house adopt, as the mover. However, Dlamini did not make it to Parliament yesterday and his seconder, Kubuta MP Musa Mabuza, did not make attempts to have the House adopt the report. Lobamba Lomdzala MP Marwick Khumalo said it was astonishing that the seconder was present in Parliament but did not make any attempts to have the report adopted by the House.

Robbed

“We have been robbed of a chance to address the matter of drugs with the Minister of Health through the adoption of the report,” he lamented. Ndzingeni MP Lutfo Dlamini wondered if this was a game which they found themselves roped in as MPs. According to the article published by the Times of Eswatini, there is a lack of storage facilities for obsolete stock in public health facilities and also at the Central Medical Stores, which results in the medication getting mixed up with old, expired stock being dispatched to hospitals. It was said the expired drugs, due to the lack of storage, ended up being kept in close proximity to those that still had a shelf-life. This publication also published an article yesterday where it was stated that while there was a public outcry regarding the shortage of drugs in the country’s health facilities, at the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial (RFM) Hospital, medical drugs worth over E250 000 had gone missing, as revealed by a source.

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