About 53% of disabled people, equivalent to over 400 thousand citizens, do not have access to medicine in the National Health System (SNS).

The data are contained in the research on Access to Medicines for Disabled People, presented on Tuesday, in Maputo, by Pedro Nhanengue, economist and researcher in the Citizen Observatory for Health (OCS), as part of the Seminar aimed at discussing the results with different social stakeholders, including Government representatives.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, which took place in partnership with Cooperativa Luana Semeia Sorrisos (COLUAS) and Forum of Mozambican Associations of People with Disabilities (FAMOD), Nhanengue explained that disabled people mostly resort to the informal sector to access medication assistance.

“This sector is characterized by economic instability, in a context where access to medicines, in public pharmacies, is irregular. In other words, patients are forced to incur debt despite economic limitations”, the researcher said.

Financial Vulnerability Related to Difficult Access to Medicines

The research, according to the economist, points out that “people with more vulnerable life have enormous difficulties in accessing medicines. These people resort to the informal sector, uncertain of how to pay for medicines. As such, they end up resorting to debt in order to meet medication expenses.”

The researcher also pointed to self-medication as a problem experienced by persons with disabilities. 

“People with disabilities, when they do not have access to medication, resort to self-medication, with risks of death or overdose”, Nhanengue said, adding that “the biggest challenges for this group are structural, including transport, education and health, but medication represents only a tiny component in day-to-day life.”

In order to solve these problems, the researcher believes that there is a need to create specific laws on access to medication, just as there is a need to allocate part of the State Budget for the acquisition of medication for disabled people.

“It would be very important to speed up its approval, contemplating people with disabilities. It is important that there is a part in the State General Account that contemplates people with disabilities”.

According to the researcher, it should be “established a coordination between the key sectors, so that the interest rate to which these people are exposed is eased.”

The difficult access to medicines, stresses the economist, is directly linked to the extreme poverty of families, in a context where women, children and the elderly are the most vulnerable.

“In general, the most vulnerable group are women, children and the elderly with disabilities”, says the researcher, citing the study, advancing that “less than half of people with disabilities, in the universe of the study, only have access to iboprofen and paracetamol, which are available in the public sector.”

According to the research, which was focused on some neighborhoods of the Province and Maputo City, a significant part of people with disabilities are young, aged between 18 and 35 years, representing 8.1% of the universe, with women standing out.

“Overall, approximately 63% of people with disabilities spend a maximum of 1,000.00 meticais to purchase medicines in private pharmacies, which shows little purchasing power due to their low monthly incomes, mainly in the informal sector, with more emphasis on women”, reads the study, cited by the researcher.

For her part, Marília Xerinda, representing the Forum of Mozambican Associations of People with Disabilities (FAMOD), calls on society to be more tolerant to people with disabilities, as they lack basic social services due to a lack of social protection.

“People with disabilities live in extreme poverty, have no means of subsistence and no education”, Xerinda said.

According to the source, “people with disabilities struggle with food and housing problems. The Government is unable to respond to these concerns, people are left to their fate.”

The population with disabilities in Mozambique corresponds to 2.7%, equivalent to more than 800 thousand people. In this universe, 53% have no access to medicines and 10% have irregular access to them. Therefore, at least 37% of the disabled population has access to medicines in the country.

The research was conducted in 2022, in Maputo Province and City, by the Health Observatory (OCS), in partnership with the Cooperative Luana Semeia Sorrisos (COLUAS).

Read the full research in the link below:

https://www.observatoriodesaude.org/download/custos-economicos-e sociais-na-aquisicao-de-medicamentos-para-as-pessoas-com-deficiencia-em-mocambique-pedro-nhanengue/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Banco Nedbank Moçambique

Nº de conta: 00024061001

Moeda: MZN

NIB: 004300000002406100148

IBAN: MZ59004300000002406100148


Banco Nedbank Moçambique

Nº de conta: 00024061110

Moeda: USD

NIB: 004300000002406111012

IBAN: MZ59004300000002406111012