BY ISAAC NICOLAS
TWO nurses were infected with tuberculosis (TB) due to the lack of basic health supplies such as a face mask at Daru hospital in Western Province.
The hospital has now cut back on operations due to a lack of basic equipment and medical supplies, which is now a cause for concern when the issue was raised during Question Time in Parliament yesterday.
South Fly MP Sekie Agisa said the lack of medical supplies and equipment associated with the recent infection of the two nurses, with the exception of 2015 before the declaration of war on tuberculosis, which has infected 15 staff, lowered the status of the hospital.
Agisa said management reported no equipment, no x-ray machine was working, no x-ray film, no pathology had reagents to help with diagnosis, no funds for meals for patients admitted to the ward and various important drugs like antibiotics and no oxygen.
He said the problem is severe with specialist doctors disabled due to lack of equipment and drugs.
âIs the Minister of Health aware of the problems facing the hospital, whose operations he has reduced because there is no face mask at the moment as I speak?â Asked Agisa.
He said the government made a total commitment of K18million, K8million in 2015 through the National Ministry of Health to fight tuberculosis at Daru hospital which unfortunately did not reached the hospital.
Agisa said last year that another K10million pledge from CMCA (OK Tedi) had not reached the hospital and the people of South Fly and the hospital wanted to know where those funds were.
Health Minister Sir Puka expressed surprise and disappointment at the lack of basic medical supplies when funding was available.
âI am surprised to hear that the problem of lack of supplies, especially basic supplies like masks, are not available, these are routine things that hospitals normally have access to and because we have sufficient funds particularly in tuberculosis, i am disappointed that it is the experience on the ground that the hon. member is now exhibiting, âsaid Sir Puka.
âI will personally pledge that all issues regarding the drug supply are resolved. Multidrug resistance is the biggest problem and we are tackling it and due to the spread of multidrug resistant TB in Daru I think it is more than the statistics that we have 1 in 10 TB patients has multidrug resistance drugs and that’s a very high number.
“I can assure home that with the level of technical and financial support we have, especially for example, we currently have smarter and faster diagnostic tools, before it takes two to three weeks now. , we will immediately diagnose about an hour and a half hour when the pin is taken.