MEDICINES IN SHORT SUPPLY IN SOLOMONS DUE TO ETHNIC UNREST

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By Richard Dinnen

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (July 28, 2000 - Radio Australia)---Health officials in the Solomons say medicines are in short supply, especially in the rural areas, due to the ethnic tension in the country.

Even at the best of times, drugs and medical supplies can be hard to get in remote areas of Solomon Islands. But the ethnic conflict here has disrupted international shipping and air services, making it difficult to replenish drug supplies.

The main storehouse in Honiara is running low, and health clinics in remote areas face serious shortages.

The movement of people back to rural areas away from the fighting on Guadalcanal has put extra pressure on health centers in those areas.

Also, some health centers have run out of kerosene, which they use to run refrigerators in which heat sensitive drugs are stored.

For additional reports from Radio Australia/Pacific Beat, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia/Pacific Beat.

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