The Lira Outreach

The medical camp was a life-relieving experience on two counts. The first to the beneficiaries (patients/clients). The second the medical service providers. In the words of one of the patients,

“the good thing about the medical camp is that the Doctors, Nurses, Counsellors and CPU team (service providers) were so friendly, empathetic, and there was high coordination of activities. All people got back (home) with the drugs (prescribed) to treat the disease”

And one of the medical personnel (senior nursing officer) had this to say:

“it a huge relief to us, it’s been frustrating to examine a patient and prescribing treatment, while you know that there are no drugs at the dispensary for them to take home but for today every patient that needed drugs got them as appropriate”.

The statements point to the fact that there is increased level of frustration for both the patients and the service providers. In many parts, the frustration has been aimed at the service providers by the patients. After this medical camp, the patients and the population probably now realise that the medical service providers have the zeal to help their situation but only challenged by lack of medicines.

Conclusion

The medical camp helped expose the fact that there is unmeasured amount of need for (especially) drugs in health facilities. The medical personnel in these facilities get stranded when the drugs are absent and yet they have to take the blame, sometimes unfairly. There is need to map out areas that need a lot of attention for the national drug distributors to take care of. The northern region faces acute drug shortage and there are no offsetting alternatives such as clinics or pharmacies as is the case with other regions. In a situation like the aforesaid, even when a patient has ability to purchase medical services/drugs on their own, private facilities are a rarity in these communities.

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