This article was last updated on May 25, 2022
The minister attributed the challenge (expiry of drugs) to logistical problems and bureaucracy from Central Government, states, counties, payams to the final destinations of drugs which has been compounded by the poor road network.
“Once they get to their respective destinations, sometimes some are expired or closer to expiry. We need to change the way and make other short cuts by becoming fair to our population,” said Dr. Itto.
Minister Itto cited out the roads in Kapoeta East, Budi, Kapoeta South, Kapoeta North and Lafon/Lopa as the major hindrance to quick delivery of drugs to the health centers there.
Lack of storage facilities in the counties according to the minister is another huge challenge contributing to expiry of drugs.
“Reaching these counties especially Kapoeta East’s places like Jie, Kuron, Kauto, Nanyachor, during rains has proved a great challenge. Once drugs get to these counties; Kapoeta East, Budi, Kapoeta South, Kapoeta North and Lafon/Lopa, they lack drug storage facilities,” Dr. Itto laments.
She says it’s very expensive to transport drugs to the state health centers but in order to help the situation, they sometimes negotiate for the UNMISS helicopters.
“It may take time because they have their own schedules. It is not easy to force them to decide as it is not like jumping into a car. This is a mess,” Dr. Itto adds.
Despite these challenges, the minister is optimistic that things will improve as she urges the central government to reduce on the bureaucratic procedures in order to curb the rate of drugs going bad before reaching the needy patients.
“We are very optimistic. We are working with our partners to ensure some of those procedures are minimized and drug shortages also reduced.”