Health Minister, Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete says Fiji is facing a shortage of high blood pressure medicine, Enalapril as there has been a global shortage for some time and also due to the manufacturing countries making decisions to also stock up on medicine for their own citizens.
Doctor Waqainabete says he knows that this is a popular medication prescribed to patients by a lot of doctors however the specialists and senior doctors have been advised to look at alternatives as other high blood pressure medications are available.
The Health Minister also says that as with other countries in the world, Fiji’s main challenge is the global supply chain limitations that delays the shipment of items into the country.
Doctor Waqainabate and Acting Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong confirm that a number of Fiji’s medication orders have been paid for but cannot be shipped over.
Doctor Fong confirms that with the beginning of the new financial year, they are continuously raising new orders over and above the orders under pending shipment. He also says at this time stock piling is something we need to endeavour for.
The Acting Permanent Secretary for Health also says there are items such as Metformin, Glipizide, Atenolol, Insulins and Amlodepine which are available. They are in the process of distributing them.
Fijivillage has received confirmation that Enalapril is in transit.
Doctor Waqainabete says they are trying their best and Fiji is blessed that Fiji Airways is running freight flights and they are also getting ships in with freight. He says connections are also being made possible through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our overseas missions to get the medications that Fiji has already paid for after the tender process.
He says for those who have high blood pressure and cannot get medication like Enalapril, they can get guidance from specialists and senior doctors on alternatives.
He says they are also restrategizing on the best delivery of the Free Medicine Scheme and looking at corporate pharmacies. This will result in people not just relying on government pharmacies.
Doctor Waqainabete says the whole world is facing challenges with some medications that are manufactured in countries that have challenges with COVID and Fiji is fighting tooth and nail in order to bring it across through our global connections.
For those who want to talk to the Health Ministry on how they can assist and the type of assistance needed, Doctor Waqainabete says you can email him on email@example.com
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