Nepalgunj, October 16
Gayadin Chaudhary, a sickle cell patient, of Badhaiyataal Rural Municipality, Bardiya, visited Nepalgunj-based Bheri Hospital frequently for treatment. But he could not receive the much required treatment as the machine used for treatment of the disease was dysfunctional. Ultimately, Chaudhary, who was admitted to the hospital, succumbed to the disease a week ago for want of timely treatment.
Similarly, Ram Lautan Chaudhary of the same rural municipality had also visited the hospital. He also could not receive treatment and died.
These two sickle cell patients are only representative figures, there are many more such cases in Bardiya, who have lost their lives due to lack of proper treatment.
It has been years since the government announced free treatment for sickle cell patients, but there are still many such patients who have not benefited from the announcement. More worrying is that Bardiya District Health Office does not even have any record of sickle cell patients. DHO is not even bothered to know how many people have already lost their lives due to the disease.
Doctors said the disease was mostly seen in people from the Tharu Community in Bardiya and the health facilities in the district lacked necessary equipment and machine for treatment.
Chief at district hospital Dr Subash Pandey said that the hospital lacked the machine used for treatment of sickle cell patients. “We are providing medicines to the patients free of cost,” he said. He further added that patients had to visit Nepalgunj-based health facilities for treatment due to lack of machine in the hospital.
Dr Rajan Pandey at Bheri Hospital, who has been involved in research of sickle cell disease for many years, said that the possibility of death was high if sickle cell patients did not get timely treatment. He said that more than 2,000 people were suffering from the disease across the country, but only 700 had reported to health facilities across the country so far.
A version of this article appears in print on October 17, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.