Esinathy Sibanda Bulawayo Bureau
THE Government has been urged to avail funds to local pharmaceutical companies to manufacture intravenous fluids for the treatment of cholera.
The country is dealing with a cholera which has claimed at least 28 lives and the outbreak has been declared a state of emergency to allow the country to quickly mobilise resources to contain the disease.
At the moment, the country imports the medicine from other countries while local industries have the capacity to manufacture the drugs if funded.
The country has only two pharmaceutical companies that can manufacture intravenous fluids needed to rehydrate cholera patients.
The chief executive officer of Datlabs, Mr Todd Moyo, said what the country needed was resuscitation of pharmaceuticals with the capacity to manufacture medicine because it is easy to service health centres in response to life-threatening emergencies.
He was speaking at the United Bulawayo Hospitals School of Nursing graduation and prize-giving ceremony held at the City Hall yesterday.
Seventy-seven nurses graduated with 68 of them acquiring diplomas in general nursing and nine of them honoured for being qualified ophthalmic nurses.
Ophthalmic nurses care for patients who are diagnosed with disorders of the eyes.
Mr Moyo said Zimbabwe has under-utilised pharmaceuticals and has the ability to manufacture some of the medicines that are imported and be able to deliver at short notice when medicines required to treat outbreaks such as cholera are needed.
“We have got the pharmaceutical large-volume parenteral (LVP) manufacturing plant in Bulawayo that was state of the art but is lying idle at the moment. What we need to resuscitate that plant is to be assisted with foreign currency to purchase the required machinery,” he said.