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The Honduran health system “lacks a budget” to deal with the covid

Tegucigalpa, Feb 22 (EFE) .- The Honduran health system does not have a budget to deal with the covid-19 pandemic, to the extent that in public hospitals it is said that everyone has to take charge of the purchase of their protective equipment personal, according to the president of the Honduran Medical College (CMH), Suyapa Figueroa. The lack of budget is due to the fact that “the government has seen in each of the transactions an opportunity to favor illegal or corrupt businesses,” Figueroa told Efe in Tegucigalpa. He added that corruption and the waste of millionaire resources has been seen in the “incomplete purchase” of a biosafety equipment such as “mechanical ventilators that were not adequate for the management of patients with covid-19.” Added to this, among other irregularities, according to the president of the doctors, the purchase, between March and April 2020, of seven mobile hospitals, in Turkey, valued at about 47.5 million dollars, which arrived in the country between November and December and of which only two have been installed so far. According to complaints from the National Anticorruption Council and the Association for a More Just Society (ASJ), among other entities, there was corruption in the purchase of the hospitals, which is being investigated by the Public Ministry. THE PANDEMIC HAS NOT BEEN MANAGED BY EXPERTS The CMH and other sectors also assure that the mismanagement of the pandemic is due to the fact that the Government has not sought the services of professionals who know how to handle a health crisis like the one facing Honduras, which is already bordering on 4,000 deaths in the 11-month pandemic, while infections exceed 165,000. But those figures, according to Figueroa and medical sources who are at the forefront of the pandemic in public and private hospitals, are higher than those recorded daily by the state National Risk Management System (Sinager). “Those who make decisions in health matters are not technicians; what they are least interested in is technical knowledge, experience, what they look for in the Government are people who help them validate all the irregular acts they are doing,” emphasized Figueroa. . In addition, in his opinion, the resources that have been received, between donations and loans for the acquisition of everything necessary to face the covid-19 pandemic, have been poorly managed. The seven mobile hospitals acquired in Turkey “were a fiasco, bought without guarantees and without our being able to make a claim to the supplier. The purchase of these mobile hospitals was illegal from start to finish, to the point that 94 were going to be bought and only They brought seven, of which only two have been installed, “said the president of the CMH. IT IS NOT KNOWN WHEN THE FIRST VACCINES AGAINST COVID-19 WILL ARRIVE While the incidence of deaths and infections from Covid-19 continues to rise, it is not known when the vaccines will arrive. The Government announced in January that the first, free, under the Covax mechanism promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO) would be in the country in the second half of February. But the WHO and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) indicated last week that it will be towards the end of March. Another 1.4 million vaccines, purchased by the Honduran Social Security Institute (Ihss), would arrive between April and May. Figueroa said that the longer the arrival of the vaccines delays, the more Hondurans continue to die and become ill, including doctors, nurses and other health personnel from public and private hospitals. The Government considers that the WHO and PAHO have failed Honduras with regard to the delivery of the first vaccines and ensures that mechanisms are still being sought so that they arrive as soon as possible. On Sunday, the Honduran president, Juan Orlando Hernández, sanctioned a decree to reform the Free Vaccine for All Law against Covid-19, approved last week by Parliament, which means the acceleration of the drug acquisition process and the guarantee that all Hondurans will be immunized. In a statement, the Presidential House indicated that “the reform of the Free Vaccine Law aims to accelerate the process of purchasing the vaccine without having to be tied to Covax, due to the continuous changes in the delivery date in which it has incurred this international mechanism, before which the Government made a formal claim. ” “With the signature of the president, the Ministry of Health (Sesal) is authorized to acquire vaccines against covid-19 through established mechanisms, such as the Revolving Fund for Vaccines of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), in order to that Honduras is not limited to Covax and can negotiate directly with manufacturing laboratories, “adds the official information. In addition, the reform includes that the Sanitary Regulatory Agency (Arsa) can certify vaccines, which allows to negotiate and buy Sputnik V from Russia. The Government has also said that it has already made arrangements at the highest level for the direct purchase of vaccines, not only with the manufacturer of Sputnik V, but also with the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna, in order to access as soon as possible to immunization against the disease, about which various sectors of the country doubt. (c) EFE Agency

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