Health posts in Lahan reeling under shortage of essential medicinesHealth offices in the municipality are facing a shortage of medicines since the ones purchased some three months ago through a tender process did not meet the WHO standard.
A health post at Bishanpur in Lahan Municipality Ward No. 18 has been reeling under a shortage of essential medicine, including paracetamol, Jeevan Jal (Oral Rehydration Salts) and iron pills, for the last one month.
Lalita Chaudhary, an auxiliary nurse midwife at the health post, said, “The health post receives over two to three dozen patients on a daily basis. We have been unable to distribute medicines to the patients due to the shortage of medicine.”
Health offices at the municipality are facing a shortage of medicine, as the ones purchased some three months ago through a tender process did not meet the WHO standard, according to Ram Sundar Yadav, chief at the Health Section of Lahan Municipality.
“We haven’t been able to distribute medicines to the health posts on time. But we have started the process to purchase medicines through another vendor for this fiscal year,” Yadav said.
Pramod Kumar Das, the in-charge of the health post in Ward No. 18, said patients have stopped visiting the health post of late and have started using self-prescribed medicines.
“The number of patients visiting our health post has come down to 15 these days. Some of the regular patients are visiting the pharmacy and are self-medicating,” Das said.
Julo Pandit, a resident of Bhadaiya, went to Bishanpur Health Post seeking treatment for rashes but was unable to get medicine there.
“What is the point of having the health post here if there are no medicines?” she said.
The health post at Ward No. 15 in Lahan has also run out of medicine.
“We have run out of paracetamol and Jeevan Jal,” said Ram Sundar Chaudary, in-charge at the health post.
Twelve health posts and one city health clinic in all 24 wards of the municipality have been reeling under the shortage of essential medicine for the last month.
The government provides over 70 types of essential medicines free of cost to patients seeking health care services at district hospitals with 25-bed capacity across the country.
Patients can get over 40 types of essential medicines for free in primary health care centres and 35 types of medicines in health posts throughout the country.
Das, the in-charge at the Health Post in Ward No. 18, said, “The health receives 36 to 58 types of medicines from the municipality. However, in the last few months, we were receiving only 20 to 22 types of medicines. But the supply has stopped since last month.”
According to him, health workers have been facing problems from service seekers due to the shortage of medicines.
“The situation has worsened after the start of the nationwide lockdown in March. Amid many difficulties, we have not stopped our services. The health post has been treating patients on a daily basis. But we haven’t been able to give them free medication.”
Khemnanda Bhusal, chief administrative officer of Lahan Municipality, says the situation has arised due to the weakness of the municipality’s health section.
“The medicine that we purchased a few months ago did not meet the standard of the WHO. The health section should have vetted the company properly before buying from them,” Bhusal said. “I have instructed the health section to start the process of purchasing medicines immediately. The problem will be solved within two to four days.”