The National Health Services has swiftly moved to assuage fears about the shortage of antibiotic medications at the public pharmacies in Upolu and Savai’i.
Acting General Manager, Soi Ma’atasesa Samuelu-Matthes, assured that they have placed a new order and it should arrive by the end of next week.
“We are trying to get on top of the problem to ensure that the supply and medications are available for the people of Samoa as soon as possible,” Soi said.
“Patients are the priority, and the N.H.S has taken steps to ensure that we are in the right position in supplying these for patients needs.”
In shortage are Amoxicillin Suspension and Augmentin Suspension.
“These (antibiotics) are much needed for treatment of flu for the children, however we still have other antibiotics that would help in treating (flu) and are still available at our pharmacy,” she said.
“We noticed the problem last week and then we acted right away.”
Soi added that the shortage was due to the increasing number of patients, mainly children, diagnosed with the flu at the hospital.
“The N .H.S. is now looking at ways to solve the problem and we’ve already negotiated with private pharmacies in relation to the situation.
“These (antibiotics) are still available at those (pharmacies) except us.”
Soi said the spike in the number of patients has not helped but it is something that they need to be constantly mindful of.
“It’s something that we need to pay attention to … as we all know that the flu is very common and can lead to chest infections which can be serious.
“So at this stage, we’re working to get the new order as soon as possible.”
But their efforts are not good enough, according to patient, Lomia Tauifanua.
“This is not the first time that our people are facing this kind of problem, we’re talking about life and death here,” he said.
“What if our lives depended on these antibiotics? Do we have to wait until another month for another order?
“This is one of the most disgusting excuses I’ve heard – waiting until it all finishes and then they make a move.”
Teleisia Tuala from Vaoala said this shouldn’t be happening.
“I’m not sure why the government needs to have this multimillion hospital when they don't have simple medications like antibiotics?” she said.
An employee at Maria’s Pharmacy yesterday told the Samoa Observer that they still have a sufficient supply for both antibiotics.
“We’re selling the Amoxillian at 15sene (250mg) per pill and 50sene for Augmentin (500mg). We still have a sufficient supply for now.”