CAIRO: Egypt’s Minister of Health Ahmed Emad al-din Radi has increased number of pharmacies selling subsidized infant formula cans amid shortage crisis nationwide, Youm7 reported Saturday.
The number of pharmacies selling the infant formula cans has been increased from 608 to 1,005 across the country, Radi said in a statement.
“All required measures have been taken to ensure the subsidized infant formula go to those who deserve it,” he added in the statement.
Coincidently, a group of families staged a protest Saturday against cancellation of full subsidization on the infant formula outside the Cairo-based Nasser Institute for Research and Treatment, Youm7 reported.
They complained that the current price of a fully-subsidized can; 3EGP ($0.34) has been increased to 17 EGP, which is the price of partially subsidized one. The cost of a non-subsidized can in the market reaches 55 EGP.
In late march, media outlets reported a number of families and pharmacists nationwide saying that pharmacies suffer shortage in infant formula. However, the Minister has denied such reports, saying that the ministry has enough storage for 6 months for cans for infants who are under 6 months, while infant formula for babies above six months is sufficient for eight months.
However, head of the Finance and Management department at the ministry Sayed el-Shahed told MBC Masr on March 12 that there was a shortage due to cancellation of a deal to import the formula over “doubts it did not match standards.” He noted that the problem will be solved soon.