Medicines worth million of rupees damaged in Tarai floodsHealth authorities report a rise in cases of diarrheal disease and snakebite
Essential medicines worth millions of rupees stocked at various health facilities in Province 2 have been damaged in recent floods that inundated most parts of the eight Tarai districts.
Officials say health facilities in Rautahat, Mahottari, Sarlahi and Saptari are now facing shortages of medicines.
“Medicines stored in over 25 health facilities have been damaged by floodwaters,” Mahesh Sah, chief of the Rautahat District Public Health Office, told the Post over the phone.
Torrential monsoon rains caused massive flooding in the Tarai districts in the past few weeks, claiming at least 90 lives.
As floodwater recedes, there are concerns over the spread of diseases and health officials have called for ensuring immediate supply of medicines. Sah said health workers have been assessing the damage.
The district public health office has communicated with the Regional Health Directorate under the provincial Social Development Ministry and the federal government agencies regarding the shortage of medicines, according to Sah.
“Representatives of several international agencies—WHO, UNICEF and the UNFPA—have approached us and assured the supply of essential medicines,” said Sah. “We will supply medicines to health facilities from Sunday.”
The Health Emergency Operation Centre set up by the Ministry of Health and Population said that the public health offices in Sarlahi, Saptari and Mahottari have also reported the damage of medicines in health facilities by floodwaters.
“We have dispatched essential medicines, reagents for laboratory use and anti-snake venom, along with our medical teams,” Chudamani Bhandari, chief of the Centre, told the Post. He said the team deputed from Kathmandu has been coordinating with the provincial and local health agencies to provide treatment and care.
The Ministry of Health and Population had earlier urged the international aid agencies to supply essential medicines in the flood- and landslide-hit districts.
Meanwhile, the number of diarrheal patients and snakebite cases has surged in the flood-hit districts of Tarai region.
“We have attended six diarrheal cases since this morning,” said Dr Krishna Sah of the District Hospital in Gaur. “Among them, two were seriously dehydrated. We are treating them.”
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