786d19008164.jpgDrug stock-outs at clinics were placed at the forefront of discussions during a number of Imbizos held by the Vhembe District Municipality in three villages last week.

Community members from Thengwe, Ha-Makuya Bungeni and Ha-Khakhu told officials, including Vhembe mayor Tshitereke Matibe that they are regularly confronted by drug stock-outs at clinics, including simple medication such as paracetamol.

At the Ha-Khakhu imbizo, community members shared details on people with chronic diseases like diabetes walking long distances from their homes to the clinics only to be told that there is no medication.

Tshililo Makhwanya from the Vhembe health department confirmed that there is a serious challenge when it came to medicine supplies in clinics, adding that the national health department was poised to take over the supply of all medication “like what they are doing with HIV/AIDS medications”.

“Medications for TB will also be taken over by the National Government soon.  Other diseases will also follow.  In the meantime, we will try our best to make sure that we give our community the services they deserve,” said Makhwanya.

Responding to the additional concerns that ambulances take long to respond to emergency calls, Makhwanya said community members should demand an alternative solution from the nurse who answers the telephone.

“Nurses should give you an alternative solution to a patient who is in an emergency call.  An ambulance must pick up a patient within forty-five minutes after the call is logged.  If there is no help, ask your local councillors to help,” said Makhwanya.