Working with a Shortage of Supplies

Categories: Care.

Eswatini government facilities have experienced some intermittent shortages of certain medications and other medical items, so patients at times need to go to private pharmacies in hope that they will have the medical supplies. One of these items is colostomy bags for children which some private suppliers don’t have in stock and have to order with it taking 5-10 days for the product to arrive and some not being able to order the product at all. Just before the Christmas break we received a referral from a doctor at the local hospital in Manzini requesting assistance for a one month old baby who was diagnosed with megacolon (an abnormal dilation of the colon), necessitating loop colostomy surgery to be done a few days after birth. The child was premature and had a low birth weight.

Request for RHP to assist with support for the mother and colostomy bags was made. Between RHP and the Doctor, we managed to find a few bags all the time worrying that we might not get more for the patient once they finished the supply they had. Mom made the best use of the ones she had to try prolong the use while ensuing all hygiene was maintained. We finally managed to get colostomy bags that would do for the baby and ones which could be reused for a period of time. We met with mom and the surgeon who expressed his satisfaction with the condition of the child and gratitude to RHP for the bags. Seeing the little one look well and having put on a good amount of weight was refreshing. Mom couldn’t stop thanking us; it’s hard to put into words her thanks to us and how she felt.

Below is a short note from the mother:
“I don’t have enough words to explain and appreciate all the support I have received since the day I met RHP. I feel that my baby is so special not only to me, but to the entire team – from the medical doctors to the RHP. I thank God for the RHP who reach out to people who face situations like mine. May you continue to touch and reach out to others who need assistance. Thank you RHP”!

This article was uploaded with permission from the Rocking Horse Project. For more information please contact

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