PRESS CONFERENCE OF MADAME THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND OF THE FIGHT AGAINST AIDS, MONDAY 07 MARS 2011
Ladies and gentlemen journalists,
First, I would like to greet you and thank you for answering our call.
It is with a bruised heart that I address you to inform you of the devastating effects of the embargo on Ivorian ports.
Indeed, the notification of the implementation of the embargo of the EU on the independent maritime ports of Ivory Coast leads to the impossibility starting from 11th February 2011 to embark EU common products and Pharmaceutical towards our country and that, within the framework of the sanctions imposed on Côte d’Ivoire.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me remind you that the epidemiological profile of our country is worrying because it is marked by a very high level of the main indicators of morbidity and mortality.
These indicators that reflect the poor state of health of Ivorians are in order of frequency, malaria (69.25 cases per 1000 inhabitants), HIV / AIDS (3.4 cases per hundred inhabitants), tuberculosis (393 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants), chronic malnutrition seen in one in three children under 5 years, and potentially epidemic diseases to name them.
Chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, and cancers are no exception, and have had the public are pay a heavy price to.
I would also remind us that once in office, occurred in the epidemiological and environmental context that we know, the following health emergencies:
• The yellow fever epidemics that occurred from November 22, 2010 in four health districts in the area that NOCs are Seguela Mankono, Beoumi and Katiola, with notification of 11 deaths out of 21 cases recorded.
• A cholera epidemic in Abidjan since January 21, 2011, located in four health districts that are Adjame Plateau, Attécoubé, West Yopougon and Abobo. To date, 509 cases were reported including 12 deaths
• An outbreak of measles in the health districts Adiaké, Tiapoum Aboisso and we are handling since February 17, 2011.
• In addition to the response against these emergencies, we provide support for victims of post-election violence in all healthcare facilities in the country. As of March 3, 2011, we recorded 1,233 casualties including 1,134 wounded and 99 deaths.
• Finally, we organize, with the humanitarian unit set up by the government, the management of displaced persons:
o the number of 25,000 for Mountain Regions (Man, Danane) and Moyen Cavally (Guiglo, Duekoue and Bangolo)
o 13,000 for regions of Middle Comoé, Lakes of Nzi Comoé, Marahoué, Haut Sassandra and Zanzan,
o and 600 people from Abobo at the parish St Ambroise Jubilee in Angré.
Arrangements are being made for the management of 1500 moved to the Evangelical church of Yopougon Gesco.
Mrs and Mrs journalists
With the situation of health emergency that we have just mentioned in a country’s epidemiological profile of great concern, what would our health care system be without drugs?
Thus, parallelly to the response against the epidemic and to support victims of attacks, we have instructed our services, to assess the stocks of pharmaceuticals in order to better manage the supply of medicines, vaccines, blood products and inputs.
In this report, it emerged that in the public sector, some medicines such as those of hemodialysis are at odds, and other essential medicines such as ARVs, antimalarials, antibiotics are available for the two to four coming months.
Most inputs and consumables including solutes, gloves, necessary for blood collection, the films for X-ray machines to one month’s stock.
In the private sector, pharmacies were also two months of stock.
For HD (hemodyalisis) products, their persistent failure has caused fron January to February 2011 already 24 deaths, and that number could increase in the days to come if the embargo lasted.
What are the factors that contribute to the tension of stocks?
These factors are partly the negative impact of the embargo on the vessels of the European Union supplying Côte d’Ivoire in drugs and other dysfunctions of the banking system.
Regarding the embargo on ships bound for our country, it is noteworthy that at least 90% of drug supplies are from the EU. These are sent in 80% of cases by sea and 20% of cases by air.
Furthermore, the implementation of the embargo has resulted in a number of containers of pharmaceuticals shipped before February 10th, 2011, still at sea that can not reach directly Côte d’Ivoire, since landed in Dakar Senegal then probably diverted by other routes to Abidjan, with a significant lengthening of the period of delivery.
Taking into account these floating stocks, current inventories could help, in the most optimistic outlook, coverage of pharmaceutical needs of Côte d’Ivoire for one month on average, meaning the end of March 2011.
In about twenty days of implementation of the unprecedented and ignoble embargo of the European Union, private wholesalers are on average 17% rate of stock rupture while it was stable under normal conditions, between 2 and 3%.
Regarding the Public Health Pharmacy, which is the central public procurement of medicines, it has 70% rate currently out of stock on its tracer products including dialysis consumables. To this difficulty, it should be noted inadequate supply of health facilities, due to the unavailability of cash liquidity for the PSP to get fuel.
Moreover, the closure of banks worsens the drug supply for both the public and for private wholesalers because of problems linked to paying suppliers abroad.
To this date, it should be noted that some private pharmacies refuse the system of the third of the payment and impose customers a cash payment, with has for consequences for a lack of access to medicines, increased risks of proliferation of counterfeit drugs and Self-medication of populations.
Mrs and Mrs, I wonder with you again: what is a health system in the world without drugs, particularly in a continent like Africa which is experiencing a resurgence of epidemics of all kinds?
I add that this unavailability of essential drugs and medical devices, will result in the very short term, in the interruption of certain surgical procedures, poor medical management of certain diseases, the difficulties of ensuring nursing, while contributing to increase, without a doubt, the morbidity and mortality already high in our population.
Therefore, trying to suffocate the Ivorian people on drugs, the EU does nothing but methodically programme the death of the Ivorian people. It is neither more nor less than a holocaust.
Mrs and Mrs journalists, we refuse that they use the front door of the health system for the extermination of populations from Côte d’Ivoire.
The State of Côte d’Ivoire, whose mission is to ensure the health of its people, not willing to remain inactive before this humanitarian disaster considered as a crime against humanity, continues to take steps to face it.
This is an opportunity for Côte d’Ivoire, headed by President Laurent Gbagbo and his government to challenge the traditional health partners in Côte d’Ivoire that are WHO and UNICEF for their guilty silence which going against their mandate, which should take them to denounce such actions and to express their active solidarity to the people of Côte d’Ivoire.
I appeal to the people who have known in the past such genocides, so they can mobilize alongside the people of Côte d’Ivoire to condemn this unjust action.
Before closing my remarks, I would like to make special mention to all stakeholders and health professionals who, in these difficult times, sometimes at the peril of their lives, continue tirelessly to bring relief and assistance to thempeople throughout the entire national territory.
I associate with these thanks all the people of Côte d’Ivoire who demonstrate good citizenship and maturity of mind by not falling into the trap of the revolt in which all these maneuvers hatched by the enemies of our country tend to push them.
Mrs and Mrs journalists, once again thank you for your precious time.
You are all witnesses to history of this crime against humanity perpetrated in Côte d’Ivoire by the European Union whose attitude is akin to shooting at an ambulance from a sniper ambush, while it prides itself to be part of the people who have enshrined the right to health in the UN Charter, but which, perhaps, people living in Ivory Coast are certainly not human beings to enjoy the fundamental right of all people.
Given these facts, and in order to ensure its sovereign duty, the government is striving to avoid making the Ivory Coast is a critical shortage of drugs in order to preserve the health of its people.
The sovereignty of a state also implies the ability of its rulers to care independently and Sustainable for its people.
Therefore, I thank the EU which gives an opportunity to the State of Côte d’Ivoire to take responsibility.
God always bless Côte d’Ivoire!
Madame the Minister of Health
And the fight against AIDS
Dr. Christine NEBOUT ADJOBI