Jane Ruth Aceng has asked District Health Officers (DHOs) to request for drugs from the responsible departments in her ministry, other than posting the lack of it on social media.
The Health Minister, who speaking on Wednesday during the launch of ‘100-Day Accelerated Isoniazid Preventive Therapy Scale Up Plan’ in Kampala, also added that posting on social media is very unprofessional.
The campaign aims at enrolling 300,000 people living with HIV on Tuberculosis Preventative Therapy as well as to accelerate Tuberculosis (TB) treatment among HIV sufferers, reducing incidence and mortality due to TB.
TB accounts for about 40 percent of deaths among people living with HIV in Uganda.
The launch was graced by HE Deborah Malac, the American Ambassador to Uganda together with PEPFAR, other US and Ugandan Government representatives, WHO, and DHOs.
“Please don’t post on social media that your health facilities don’t have drugs. Make requests for drugs because our stores are well stocked,” said Aceng.
However, a DHO who requested to remain anonymous said posting on social media quickens the ministry’s reaction to their call for drugs.
“When we write to responsible departments that our hospitals especially referral hospitals lack a certain type of drug they will tell you to compile the request list. This usually takes some days yet patients who need the drugs keep on coming,” he said.
However, Aceng said in case their requests for drugs are not answered let them write to the top authorities.
“If you write to the responsible department and you are not catered for, write to the authority next, if they don’t, write to our Permanent Secretary and if that fails, write to me but don’t post on social media,” Aceng noted.
According to DHOs, some essential drugs used in the treatment AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Paracetamol (pain killers) are usually depleted as soon as they arrive at health facilities.
This means that some districts in hard to reach areas still suffer drug shortage because of their geographical nature.
This, Aceng promised without elaborating, will not happen again during the new financial year.