Medicine shortage in FarwestA majority of health institutions in the far-western region are reeling under shortage of essential medicines due to a procurement delay.
A majority of health institutions in the far-western region are reeling under shortage of essential medicines due to a procurement delay.
With its stock of vital medicines running low, the Regional Medical Store in Kailali said that they have been unable to supply sufficient medicines to health offices in various districts for the past two months.
The report from the Farwest comes on the hills of similar problem earlier in the mid-western districts.
Medicines for common cold, fever, diarrhoea, gastritis, among others, are in short supply in the district hospitals. Chief of the Regional Medical Store Laxmiraj Shrestha said the district-based health institutions are demanding medicines on a daily basis. “There’s shortage of medicines in all of the districts. Our stocks are getting depleted, yet we cannot invite tenders as budget has not been allocated yet,” said Shrestha.
The regional store has been supplying 70 kinds of medicines in the district hospitals, 58 in primary health centres and 35 in health posts to be distributed to patients for free. Chief of the Regional Health Directorate Shushil Nath Pyakurel said they have been distributing medicines to the health institutions, which were purchased last year. “The procurement of medicines has not started yet,” said Pyakurel, adding that have been awaiting permission from the Ministry of Health and Population.
“We don’t even have medicines for fever, diarrhoea, typhoid and common cold. We are compelled to send many patients back without medicines,” said Dipak Shah, the in-charge of Tante Health Post in Bajura.
Ramesh Oli, who heads Atichaur Health Post in Bajura, has a similar complaint, saying that they have run out of paracetamol, Jeewan Jal (electrolyte syrup); pregnant women and new mothers are deprived of iron pills. “We have been giving away the names of medicine to the patients to check with private pharmacies,” said Oli.
According to the Regional Medical Store, it will take 2-3 months to procure the medicine supplies even after the ministry authorises the process.
Lab services halted at Mahakali Zonal Hospital
Laboratory services have been affected at Mahakali Zonal Hospital due to short supply of test products and materials. Patients are facing difficulties as hospital could not invite tenders to buy chemicals on time. Chief at the Lab Section Prem Narayan Sharma said they have been unable to carry out tests of blood and urine samples over a month due to lack of laboratory chemicals. As a result, the hospital has been referring the patients to private clinics for lab tests.