Belize: There is a shortage of pharmaceutical supplies countrywide

DANGRIGA, Stann Creek District,  Fri. Aug. 3, 2018– Earlier this week, Ministry of Health officials confirmed that there is a shortage of critical pharmaceutical supplies in the country’s hospitals. All hospitals have been affected by the shortage/depletion of their supplies, but in the south, the Southern Regional Hospital and the Independence Village Polyclinic are said to be the hardest hit by the shortage.

Although no less than the Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, has confirmed the shortage in remarks he made to Belize Breaking News on Thursday, the Southern Regional Manager, Dr. Nyreese Castro (a daughter of Minister Edmond Castro) told us this afternoon in her office at the Southern Regional Hospital that there is no shortage of supplies affecting the hospital.

We asked Dr. Castro how the hospital’s patients were coping with the shortage, and in the presence of two hospital employees, one of whom appeared to be hesitating before agreeing with the Regional Manager, she asserted that “everything is alright. We have no problems here.”

Notwithstanding Dr. Castro’s denial that the Southern Regional Hospital is suffering like the rest of the country’s hospitals from a shortage of critical supplies, there are other staff members and nurses at the facility who are more forthcoming.

A nurse we met on the hospital’s compound who understandably spoke to us on condition of anonymity pointed out that some often prescribed antibiotic medications have run out and when patients go to the hospital’s pharmacy, the medication that the hospital has run out of is underlined on the patients’ prescriptions.

As an example, a nurse pointed out that the hospital does not have the antibiotic Ceftrim, which is used to treat bacterial infection in various parts of the body. She also noted that two other antibacterial drugs that the hospital has run out of are Azithromycin and Cloxacillin. Additionally, they have depleted their supply of the drug Azithromycin, used to treat certain kinds of sexual transmitted diseases (STDs) and some bacterial infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.



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