Swaziland is running out of insulin and people with diabetes could die, because the Swazi Government cannot pay suppliers.
The Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent daily newspaper, reported on Thursday (30 March 2017), ‘Information from reliable sources is that the shortage is caused by government’s failure to pay the supplier who was awarded the tender to supply the injection. The sources said the relevant ministry was waiting for its budget allocation to pay the supplier.’
The newspaper reported a source saying, ‘The supplier has stopped supplying us, so right now there is no stock because the hospitals have depleted even the buffer stock that was left. The suppliers who were awarded the tenders cannot deliver if they are not paid, so it is a big problem especially because there are other departments that are facing the same problem.’
The Times, reported diabetics faced a ‘life-threatening situation’. It reported, ‘There is no insulin injection at public hospitals because the Ministry of Health has allegedly been unable to pay suppliers. Health experts say a prolonged absence of the drug could lead to death. Most pharmacies reported running out of the injection due to the high demand by those who can afford to buy it while the Ministry of Health cannot say when it would be made available.’
It is reported that in 2015 more than 1,000 people died of diabetes in Swaziland.
While people might die because of unpaid Government bills, the Swazi Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini is insisting the people of Swaziland pay E5.5 million for him to have a house in retirement. The same Government has also sanctioned US$20 million to be paid for another jet airplane for the King.
Swaziland regularly fails to pay for life-saving drugs for ordinary people. In 2014, at least 44 children died and many hundreds were hospitalised during an outbreak of diarrhoea. The Ministry of Health said it could not afford readily-available drugs. Then, the Government spent US$1.7 million on top of the range BMW cars for itself.
About 680,000 doses of life-saving rotavirus vaccine could have been purchased for the cost of the 20 new BMW X5 sports utility vehicles, which would be enough to treat every child in the kingdom. The cars were for government ministers and top officials.
The purchase was one of many example of irresponsible spending in the kingdom.
In March 2014, US$600,000 was spent on the opening ceremony for the Sikhuphe Airport which was renamed King Mswati III Airport. The airport has been widely criticised outside of Swaziland as a vanity project for the King.
SWAZI KING PARTIES WHILE CHILDREN DIE