Drug shortage hits far-west

Dhangadi, November 30

The blockade in Nepal’s border points and the prolonged agitation in Tarai have caused acute shortage of vital medicines at government and private hospitals and health facilities in the far-west.

The drug crunch has hit facilities and patients hard.

According to health workers, saline, equipment for surgery and antibiotics, among others, have become scarce.

Coordinator Janak Joshi at Drug Retail Sellers’ Association far-west chapter said that drug crunch

had intensified tension among doctors, patients and other staff at the health facilities. “After Dashain, the import of drugs manufactured in India has come to a stop while medicines from Nepali companies too reach here in lesser quantity,” Coordinator Joshi said.

According to Joshi, drugs for diabetes, mental disorder and heart ailment are not available in the market. “So far, we have been managing medicines. If the situation persists, how shall we manage?” Joshi asked.

Joshi said that they had run out of 90 per cent medicines, which are imported from India. But medicines manufactured in Kathmandu and Birgunj too have not been available owing to fuel shortage.

Superintendent Dr Ganesh Bahadur Singh at Seti Zonal Hospital said they were facing acute scarcity of medicines to be administered through injection. “Zonal hospital has not totally run out of the medicine, but drug sellers have informed they will not be able to supply medicine,” Singh said.

Drug Entrepreneurs’ Association Kailali chapter Chairman Dushant Basnet said that they were failing to deliver vital medicines to hospitals and medical stores due to fuel shortage. “Medicines of Indian companies have run out and supply of drugs manufactured inside the country has been obstructed,” Basnet added.

He urged the agitating parties not to put people’s lives at stake by blocking the supply of vital drugs. He requested the local government to bring in drugs through alternative routes.