On 21 February 2020, the National Supply Center for Essential Medicines and Medical Consumables (Cename) received three containers of medicines, reagents and other consumables dedicated to the fight against tuberculosis.
According to an official of the National Tuberculosis Control Program, this stock, which had been blocked at the port of Douala since July 2019 due to lack of money for customs clearance, will cover needs for 14 months.
The drugs will mainly go to the Centre, Littoral and Far North regions, which have been experiencing shortages of anti-tuberculosis drugs for the past two to four months. While the officials of the National Tuberculosis Control Program and Cename deny that there has been a total stock shortage, they acknowledge that the shortages were due to delays in customs clearance procedures at the port of Douala.
During this period, some patients in Douala and Yaoundé, Cameroon's two largest cities, were obtaining supplies on the black market while patients in Kousseri, in the far north, according to a hospital doctor in that city, were obtaining drugs in N'Djamena, the capital of neighboring Chad.