Local health facilities in Dolpa face shortage of medicines

DOLPA: After spending five days in bed due to fever, sixty-year-old Nausara Budha of Dolpa district gathered her courage to visit the nearby health facility seeking medication. However, she had to return empty-handed as all of the five health facilities in Tripurasundari Municipality of Dolpa are reeling under chronic shortages of medicines.

Although shortages have been prevalent since November 2017, the concerned authorities have turned a blind eye to the problem.

Tripurakot, Pahada, Liku, Sun and Lhyan health centres are grappling with shortages of medicines including paracetamols, due to which the patients and those deprived are bound to return empty-handed.

According to Tripurakot Health Center officiating chief Sirjana Rokaya, in the third week of September last year, District Hospital in Dolpa supplied medicines worth NRs 150,000 to the aforementioned health centers. However, the supply was only sufficient to meet the demands till the end of November, 2017.

After the formation of local level offices, all health centres had come under the management of municipalities, but the municipality has ignored the issue directly associated with people's health,” Rokaya said. “People (patients) arrive at the centre walking for hours in want of drug, but are compelled to return having gained nothing.”

Furthermore, other four health centres share the same plight. Pahada Health Post chief Krishna Karki said that they do not have any general medicine to provide to patients.

A meeting of town executive committee on December 16 last year had agreed on procuring drugs and medical equipment worth NRs 1.5 million for the local health facilities, but local representatives are not very serious about the issue, said Municipality Executive Officer Hirachandra Dharala.

Moreover, District Hospital Dunai's Chief  Dr Shreekant Agrawal claimed that problem of recurring shortage of medicines at local health posts became worse after the local level was handed the responsibility of operating them.