Shortage of medicine has engulfed the entire far-west region for nearly a month now and with no drug available, health facilities in the region are dispensing advice, not medicine.
“Since we have run out of free drugs, we have nothing but advice for the patients,” said Ganga Bhatta, a nursing midwife at the health post in Niraula VDC, Doti, adding, “Lack of Tuberculosis and measles vaccines for the past four months has affected regular vaccine monitoring as well.”
“As most of the people in the rural areas are unaware, they don’t understand our problem and rebuke us when we inform them about the unavailability of necessary drugs,” shared Tek Raj Ojha, in-charge of Ranagaun Doti Health Post.
Almost all government-run health facilities in the region are facing a scarcity of free medicines. The same problem has hit the district hospitals too.
“As government hospitals have run out of drugs, patients are forced to visit expensive private clinics,” said Tej Bikram Shahi, a senior assistant health worker at the district health office in Doti.
Similarly, the far-west regional medical store in Dhangadi too has run out of its stock of drugs as no medicine has been delivered since the beginning of the current fiscal.
“It’s true that the region is suffering due to lack of freebies, but the condition will end soon as the government has already initiated the process of supplying medicine at the earliest,” said Public Health Inspector Laxmi Kumar Shrestha, of the regional medical store.
Far-west regional health directorate Dipayal senior public health administrator Parashuram Shrestha, on his part, confirmed the initiatives the government has taken to end the problem.
The government distributes 25, 32, and 40 types of drugs free of cost through its sub-health posts, health posts, and primary health centers and district hospitals respectively to patients across the country.