NEBBI. Nebbi general hospital is currently operating without drugs after those supplied by National Medical Stores (NMS) ran out of stock last month.

The hospital now does diagnosis and refers patients to buy drugs in the pharmacies outside the facility.

Officials attribute the stock out to the increased population the facility is serving and attitude of residents where they storm the hospital on learning that NMS has supplied drugs and they end up getting exhausted in the first week.

Ms Caroline Atimango, a resident of Aduku cell, Nebbi municipality said on Monday she went to hospital and even failed to get essential drug like pain killers.

“It is useless to come to the hospital since we cannot get simple drugs and we are advised to buy yet there is no money during this lockdown”, she said.

Ms Moreen Thorach, another patient and a mother of two narrated that she rushed her 1year old baby over the weekend in critical condition in the night to the hospital only to be told that she could not be helped.

“I was surprised that even the emergency ward didn’t have pain killers and gloves, patients have to buy all of them”, she said.

Ms Peace Nikum the hospital administrator admitted the problem saying they were waiting for June supplies.

“There is nothing much we can do because it is a policy issue that is why patients have to buy their own medications”, she said.

Dr Jakor Oryema, the district health officer said they have written to the ministry of health about the problem but they have not received the reply yet.

“I have written letters over letters to even development partners to especially help us with gloves and personal protective equipment because we cannot put lives of our health workers at risk since we have suspected cases of COVID 19 at the hospital”, he said.

Mr Gilbert Onencan, the assistant chief administrative officer said “something needs to be done because the hospital cannot continue like this because the community is solely depending on the hospital for all their health needs especially during the time of COVID-19 since they have no money”.

But Mr Christopher Omara, the resident district commissioner Nebbi lashed out at the community for depending on drugs instead of prevention.

“The challenge we have in our community is that people don’t focus on prevention in that there is general poor eating habit and even hand washing alone is a problem, therefore we need to focus on changing mindset so that some of these common sicknesses can be avoided” he said.

He noted that the hospital is overwhelmed with patients because it is serving people from the three districts and Democratic Republic of Congo yet the drugs supplied are meant for nationals.