From Mohammed Muktar Umar, Bauchi
The Women Development Association for Self Sustenance (WODASS) and the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) with support from the International Republican Institute have charged the Bauchi State Drugs and Medical Consumables Management Agency to sustain the supply of essential drugs in all health facilities across the state.
Following the lockdown imposed on states across the nation as a result of the outbreak of coronavirus, hospitals in Bauchi state lamented inadequate medicines to treat patients suffering from regular illnesses.
But the NGOs led by the program officer of WODASS Mr Ezekiel Sukumun and state NAWOJ chairperson, Mrs Bulak Afsa who paid an advocacy visit to the agency on Friday urged them to address the matter.
Sukumun said the agency needs to also ensure consistent supply of personal protective equipment such as special body infra-red thermometers, sanitizers, medical goggles, hand gloves and protective covers among others to prevent health workers attending to COVID -19 patients against contracting the deadly disease.
“We are demanding that the agency establish drug revolving fund across the state to improve management of common illnesses at primary health care level.
“The agency should also support the state to partner with institutions and private sectors to come up with innovative ideas and cost effective technology towards producing test kits and other relevant protective equipment locally. This will help the state to easily curb the spread of infectious diseases”, he said.
Responding, the Managing Director of the agency Pharmacist Abdulkadir Ahmed who admitted that the pandemic had affected their activities at the beginning saying they now ordered for drugs that could last for three to four months having realized that COVID -19 was going to stay long in the country.
“So in our stores, we have some commodities and facilities are coming to pick. The state is taking money to buy protective materials so that our health personnel will be protected.
“You are aware that a lot of health workers were positive in Bauchi state. Some of them are getting better probably because at the beginning, the awareness of how to handle patients was not done. Now a lot of trainings have been conducted to ensure that our health workers are safe” he stated.