Rabies patients untreated as crisis worsens

Rajbiraj, February 26

An acute shortage of anti-rabies vaccine has hit patients at Gajendranarayan Singh Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital, Saptari.

After being bitten by a stray dog, Raj Kumari Sada of Kanchanrup Municipality, rushed to the hospital to get the anti-rabies vaccine. The hospital did not treat Sada as it had run out of the required drugs.

Dr Bijaya Kanta Jha, chief of the hospital, said that the vaccines they had stocked up were finished. “I have demanded the vaccine from the Primary Health Centre, but I am told that there is a shortage at the centre as well,” the doctor informed.

Sada, who reached out to the Primary Health Centre for the vaccine six days ago, said she had no other option but to buy the vaccine from private clinics and pharmacies at Rs 700 per vial.  A worried Bindeshwor Sada, Raj Kumari’s husband, said they had to buy five vials of the vaccine. “As daily wage labourers, we cannot afford such a huge amount. We come to the government hospital for subsidised treatment but we are unable to procure the medicine in any of the health centre here,” Bindeshwor Sada said.

On an average, the Gajendranarayan Singh Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital receives over four to five rabies cases a day, but due to shortage of anti-rabies vaccine, the patients are being sent back without any treatment, Dr Jha said.