Most Women in Malawi who go to most public hospitals to seek contraceptive services for child spacing are being turned away due to shortages of the drug. But spokesperson for the Ministry of Health Joshua Malango is blaming councils for their failure to prioritise on drugs which they buy, saying the ministry no longer buys drugs. “Councils should have priorities. Councils are now responsible for the purchase of medical drugs therefore they should buy drugs needed in their areas,” he said. He said the central government channels all the money for the district to councils which in turn makes budgets, including the budget for the health sector. “As a ministry, we just come in to ensure that there is quality health service and people are satisfied with the service,” Malango said. He, however, said some councils, including Nsanje district council, are having problems with drug budgets, saying drugs in their hospitals run out before the end of the month. Malango’s comments come at a time when Mzimba north district health officer Emily Gondwe said the K200 million budget for health in the district is inadequate. However, Malango said the health budget for Mzimba north has increased by 28 per cent.

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