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Despite the fire that raged through the Manica provincial medical stores in the central Mozambican city of Chimoio on Saturday, the health units in the province have enough medicines for the next two months.
The provincial health director, Juvenaldo Amos, told reporters on Sunday “We lost a great deal of medicines that were in the warehouse that caught fire. But we have some stocks in the stores in each of the health units in all the districts. These are reserves that will ensure normal care for patients over the next two months”.
“We are urging the public to remain calm”, he added. “Work is under way to assess the losses caused by the fire, and to identify the causes of the fire. While this continues, we should all be tranquil because every health unit in the 12 districts is operating to the full, and nobody is going to die for lack of medicines”.
Amos appealed to the public to stay vigilant and not to be deceived by people spreading rumours in the communities, or trying to cash in on the fire by selling stolen or counterfeit medicines.
“Be careful with illegal sellers of medicines, who may turn up claiming that there are no medicines in the hospitals, in order to persuade you to buy their products”, he said. “It’s a lie. You should denounce them to the authorities because they are committing a crime”.
A joint team from the Ministries of Health and of the Interior arrived in Chimoio on Sunday morning to assess the damage and ascertain the causes of the fire.
Speaking in the northern city of Nacala on Sunday, Health Minister Nazira Abdulah said that medicines to replace those destroyed in the fire could be sent to Manica fcrom Beira, or from the central stores in Maputo.
She added that, although the fire had destroyed the computers in the Chimoio medical stores, the data they contained on all movements of medicines and medical material can be rebuilt based on the back-up copies of the files held in Maputo.
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