Sole Unani hospital lying on death bed

Renu Kshetry

Lalitpur, February 4:

A filthy room, three chairs, a table and a signboard covered with dust. Hard it may be to believe, but this is the condition of the only Unani hospital in Nepal, which was founded seven decades ago. The hospital is housed on the premises of the Pashupati Homeopathic Hospital at Pulchowk.

Equally neglected is the Unani method of treatment — a legacy of the Greek civilisation. In this method, ointment, solutions and powders are used to treat patients. The government provides Rs 7,00,000 per year for the hospital. Out of this budget, the hospital provides medicine to patients for free. Says Hakim KA Shah, doctor at the Unani Hospital, “Lack of manpower and skilled doctors are the problems facing the hospital.” Shah treats around 40 patients every day. Thanks to the encouragement by his father and founder of the Unani Hospital, Hakim Paja Hasan Shah, KA Shah completed his study from the Delhi University. The Unani treatment originated in Greece (Unan).

Replying to a query, Shah says, “Unani medicines can cure every disease save death.”

“Due to lack of funds, we have been unable to spread awareness on Unani medicines,” he says. Doctors had advised Narayan Prasad Lamsal, a former director-general of the Minting Department, that he should undergo an operation to remove a lump that had grown in his prostate gland. Says Lamsal, who has been taking medicines prescribed by Shah, “The size of the lump has reduced by 35 per cent.” He has also been relieved of pain. Shah has assured him that regular use of medicines will cure his ailment.