The Director General of the Ministry of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, yesterday assuaged fears about the shortage of syringes for insulin injections for diabetic patients.
Confirming that there was a shortage, Leausa said there was no need to panic as the hospital has received a new supply.
“People were calling in our office to see if it's true that the diabetes injections are no longer available at the hospitals,” Leausa said in an email.
“There was a shortage of syringes for insulin administration for diabetic patients requiring insulin but not no longer available.”
According to the Director General, the shortage was a global issue.
“This was initially due to a global shortage which affected our suppliers in New Zealand and Australia,” he said.
“The National Health Services as of last Friday 1st July has received new supplies and insulin syringes have been available from the National Health Service Pharmacy since Saturday 2nd July.”
An insulin regimen is often required in the treatment of gestational diabetes and diabetes associated with certain conditions or syndromes (e.g., pancreatic diseases, drug- or chemical-induced diabetes, endocrinopathies, insulin-receptor disorders, certain genetic syndromes).
In all instances of insulin use, the insulin dosage must be individualized and balanced with medical nutrition therapy and exercise.
Prior to the assurance from Leausa, members of the public had contacted the Samoa Observer to express their concerns.
“I went there to the hospital and they told me that they didn’t have any injections for my diabetes,” said Ioane Patolo Lemusu.
“Naturally I was worried because I needed this injection. They only told me they had run out and they did not know when they will have another supply.”
Another patient was more concerned about the number of necessary medical items that are a not available at the hospital.
“There is always the shortage of basic items from time to time and that worries me,” said the patient who only wanted to be identified as Tofu. “We’re talking about the lives of people and this should never happen.
“I think they should always place emphasis on making sure all these medical supplies are there so the doctors and nurses can do their jobs.”