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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, April 29) - A report from Fiji
says drug shortages have crippled the country’s public health services.

The Fiji Times says hospitals and health centers are facing
serious shortages of drugs and dressings because funds were diverted to relief
work after Cyclone Ami which devastated parts of the country in January.

The government’s chief pharmacist, Peter Zinck, says they are
doing their best but cannot supply all the orders from hospitals and health
centers which have their own quotas.

The newspaper says in the town of Lami, near Suva, 21,000
residents have been told to nurse their own wounds after the first treatment
because of a shortage of cotton wool.

Other health centres have also reported serious shortages with
doctors expressing concern.

Suva’s Colonial War Memorial Hospital is short of drugs to
treat a flu-like virus currently affecting large numbers of people.

And in Sigatoka, patients at the local hospital have been told
to look elsewhere for drugs because its supply has run out.

April 29, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: 

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