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Psychiatric, cancer medicine availability drops 80% in Sudan

February 25 - 2018 KHARTOUM
A pharmacy in Khartoum, January 2013 (The Globe and Mail)
A pharmacy in Khartoum, January 2013 (The Globe and Mail)

The shortage of medicines has been hampering psychiatric and neurological treatment in Sudan for more than a month.

Dr Nasri Morgos, Head of the Private Pharmacies Association, told Radio Dabanga on Friday that the availability of psychiatric and neurological treatment medicines dropped by 80 per cent a month ago.

“Hospitals and clinics specialised in the treatment of neurological and psychological diseases are short of medicines as well,” he said.

“Cancer medicines are even more difficult to find.”

“Medical treatment has become a privilege for the rich.”

Morgos explained that the pharmacies have become very reluctant to buy expensive medicines from abroad, as most patients cannot afford to pay for them.

“About 60 per cent of the people who visit my pharmacy and learn about the new prices of their medicine do not return. Medical treatment has become a privilege for the rich only.”

Dollar rate

In early January, the Sudanese government raised the customs rate of the US Dollar from SDG 6.7 to an indicative SDG 18, in a bid to halt the to halt the plummeting Pound on the black market. Prices of imported goods like wheat and medicines doubled, and in some cases, even tripled.

Because of the scarcity of hard currency at the banks, medicines importing companies have to buy their Dollars from the black market at a price which is about double the new customs rate.

Dozens of pharmacists in Khartoum embarked on a strike in end January in protest against reduced medicine prices set by the Medicines and Toxics Council. “The government now wants to oblige us to sell medicines at prices cheaper than the purchase prices,” a pharmacist told this station at the time.

The Bank of Sudan raised the indicative rate of the US Dollar again on February 5, from SDG 18 to SDG 30.


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