More drugs expected to go out of stock in Sri Lanka

More drugs are expected to go out of stock in Sri Lanka over the next 2-3 months, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said today.

The UNFPA together with the Government of Japan handed over 3 months’ worth of life-saving medication and medical supplies critical for upholding the sexual and reproductive health of women and girls to the Ministry of Health.

According to the UNFPA, Sri Lanka’s socio-economic crisis has resulted in a lack of several vital and essential drugs and medical commodities in public hospitals with more drugs expected to go out of stock in the next 2-3 months.

This gravely impacts the delivery of sexual and reproductive health services, including maternal healthcare and access to contraception. The lack of essential medication and supplies could threaten the lives of 215,000 pregnant women; 11,000 of which are adolescent girls.

The contribution of medication and supplies including Oxytocin, Misoprostol and Magnesium Sulphate along with commodities such as Syphilis test kits and condoms will ensure the reproductive health needs of women and girls in Sri Lanka are met for the next 3-6 months.

Mizukoshi Hideaki, Ambassador of Japan, said, “I am glad that our support through this project implemented by UNFPA will be utilized by the youth and women in this country. Japan would like to continue to support the people of Sri Lanka in different areas of cooperation and stay side-by-side during this challenging time in order to further strengthen the friendship between Sri Lanka and Japan.”

Dr. Keheliya Rambukwella, Minister of Health stated “Essential medication is a critical need for Sri Lanka right now and the medication and supplies provided will save lives and lessen the financial burden on the health sector during this critical period.”

The contribution, made possible with the support of the Government of Japan, is part of UNFPA’s overall response to the crisis to meet the critical health and protection needs of the most vulnerable women and girls. To continue its response for the rest of the year, UNFPA has called for urgent assistance in Sri Lanka and has appealed for an additional US$10.7 million to reach the needs of 2 million women and girls over the next six months.

“Together with our partners, UNFPA will continue to prioritize the critical health and protection needs of women and girls and reduce the long-term repercussions of the ongoing crisis”, said Kunle Adeniyi, UNFPA Representative in Sri Lanka.

With over 50 years of operational presence in Sri Lanka, UNFPA is leading efforts to uphold the health and protection rights of women and girls.  Together with its partners on the ground, UNFPA remains committed to ensuring the needs of the most vulnerable are addressed. (Colombo Gazette)