Limpopo clinics solve vaccine stock outs

In 2012, a mold infestation shut down a Canadian plant that manufactured the BCG TB vaccine. Because the plant belonged to a supplier that was one one of just two that dominated the market, it has contributed to a global shortage of the vaccine (File photo)
Health-e found otavrius vaccine stock outs at William Eadie in February 2014
Health-e found rotavrius vaccine stock outs at William Eadie in February 2014

In February 2013, OurHealth reported vaccine stock outs at Limpopo’s Tshiombo Clinic in Mutale outside Thohoyandou. A year later, a national Health-e investigation into vaccine shortages also uncovered subsequent shortages of polio and Hepititis B vaccinations at the clinic, about 270 kms north of Polokwane.

Health-e also found stock outs of the rotavrius vaccine at the nearby William Eadie Community Health Centre in Thohoyandou.

Now, seven out of ten mothers attending various clinics in the area have told OurHealth that they are happy with immunisation services in the area. However, some mums complain about wait times and clinic hours.

Salphina Ndou takes both her children to the William Eadie Community Health Centre for their immunisations, and said she was very happy with the unit’s services. On a recent visit, she reported no problems in being able to obtain the vaccinations her child needed.

“The service in this clinic is very good,” Ndou told OurHealth. “The treatment from the nurses is good and the environment is very clean.

“I can recommend this unit to another person,” she said.

Nearby Mukula Clinic did not report any stock outs when visited by OurHealth in February. Mukula Clinic patient Zwidofhelangani Ntshavheni reported she has had no problem getting her 19-month-old baby’s measles booster or the five-in-one vaccine to prevent against diseases like diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough.

“I have nothing to complain about,” Ntshavheni told OurHealth.

In spite of most mums’ positive comments, three mothers interviewed said that they were concerned about the “teatimes and lunches the nurses take while we are waiting in the queues.”

“These communal breaks must stop,” said a mother from Thengwe. “Why can’t these nurses go for breaks at different times instead of going together while leaving us in the queue?”

Another mother said she was concerned that nurses could not attend to them after hours.


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