Ethiopia Faces Critical Drug Shortage Amid Forex Shortfall


(MENAFN- The Rio Times) Ethiopia is grappling with a severe medicine shortage, largely due to an ongoing forex crisis.

A personal initiative to bring essential medicines from Kenya highlighted the acute need, with requests for treatment of chronic conditions like cancer and diabetes pouring in.




This action, costing around $500 and supported by a donor, helped roughly half of the requesters.

It sheds light on a broader struggle for access to healthcare and medicine across the country.

Ethiopia's dependence on imported medical supplies is faltering under a significant foreign currency deficit, severely restricting the importation of goods.







The situation is worsened by dwindling national bank reserves, barely sufficient for a month's imports.

Many resort to expensive contraband medicines, risking counterfeit and substandard products.

Government efforts to transition to a manufacturing hub to reduce import reliance have been stymied by conflict and the exit of foreign investors, closing hundreds of companies.

Personal stories of importing medication due to local unavailability underline the crisis's impact, with the forex scarcity at its core, according to business analyst Samson Berhane.

The crisis is particularly severe in conflict-hit areas like Tigray, where hospitals face a dire lack of medicines and supplies.




This situation underscores the urgent need for effective solutions to Ethiopia 's healthcare and forex challenges.

It highlights the critical state of access to medicines and the broader implications for public health and economic stability.



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