Drug crunch hits far-west hill districts

Dadeldhura, December 24

Hill districts in the far-western region have been hit hard due to acute shortage of drugs following the prolonged blockade at Nepal-India border points.

Officials at health facilities have said they will be running out of the drugs within a few days as they have already used up the stock due to lack of import for a long time.

Kalu Singh BK, a pharmacy operator at the sub-regional hospital, said they were short of medicines required for seasonal diseases with the plummeting temperature.

According to him, health facilities have been running out of drugs for asthma, fever, typhoid and cough, among others seasonal maladies.

According to BK, medicines for pressure and mental disorder, which are imported in large amounts from India, are not in stock.

Laxman Singh Budhayar, chairman of a health facility, said that they were facing a hard time for want of drugs. “We had borrowed three cylinders of oxygen from Kailali a week ago, which will be finishing soon,” lamented Budhayar.

Health workers in Baitadi and Darchula districts also said they have run out of drugs. “The district is reeling under acute shortage drugs. We have only 40 per cent drugs available now.

We have dispatched the list of necessary drugs, but don’t know when they will be available,” said Guna Raj Awasthi, a doctor at District Hospital in Baitadi.

Meanwhile, Regional Health Directorate Acting Director Ram Prasad Joshi said the office was unaware about drug crunch. “The director is on leave and I have not been informed about the drug shortage,” said Joshi.