News Alerts

19 Nov 2018 | 12:49 PM UTC

Zimbabwe: Nationwide medicine shortages /update 1

Zimbabwe News Alert

Nationwide medicine shortages due to ongoing currency crisis; related protests possible

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/19/2018, 12:00 AM until 11/26/2018, 11:59 PM (Africa/Harare). COUNTRY/REGION Zimbabwe

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Event

Nationwide medicine shortages have been ongoing over the past few months due to importers' inability to secure foreign currency amid a long-running currency crisis. As of mid-November, a number of medications are either unavailable or becoming scarcer, and prices of available drugs have risen significantly. Public hospitals are currently relying on international private donors. The shortages have raised fears of a possible spike in diseases across the country. An increase in prices of basic commodities and fuel shortages have also been reported. Related protests cannot be ruled out.

Context

The country has been experiencing a deteriorating economic situation for more than a year, due in part to a lack of liquidity. As of November 2018, inflation rates continue to accelerate as the government prints "bond notes" in response to cash shortages linked to foreign currency shortages. The government had hoped that the July 30 elections would lead to increased and much-needed foreign investment, but this has not materialized.

Advice

Travelers to Zimbabwe are advised to bring with them a sufficient supply of all necessary medications accompanied with prescriptions if relevant (as well as a sufficient reserve of US dollars), take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance prior to departure, and verify that none of their medications are banned or controlled in Zimbabwe. Individuals in the country are advised to avoid any associated protests due to the risk of violence.

 

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