7,000 hepatitis patients not receiving drugs

KARACHI: The shortage of injections in hepatitis centres operating under Hepatitis Prevention & Control Programme (HPCP) Sindh continues across Sindh despite the lapse of three months, putting lives of hundreds of patients at risk.

An official of Hepatitis Prevention & Control Programme Sindh (Chief Minister Initiative) told PPI that the programme management had been facing acute shortage of injections and drugs since three months due to delay of issuance of tender and poor supply system. The delay in issuance of injections and drugs purchase tender has hit the project hard, putting lives of hundreds of patients at stake throughout the province. He said despite clear instruction issued by Provincial Minister for Health Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar to the programme management, the supply of injections has not commenced yet to newly registered patients throughout the province.

He said HPCP had registered about 7,000 new hepatitis patients across Sindh in the last three months, out of which 2,000 are in Karachi. They have been put on the waiting list by the programme management due shortage of injections and drugs. The management has not started provision of injections to newly registered patients despite the lapse of three month. An official said there are 13 hepatitis centres in Karachi operating under hepatitis programme where around 2,000 newly registered patients have been deprived from medicines and injections, causing great hardship to hepatitis patients.

The hundreds of registered patients throughout Sindh have been visiting the public hospitals on a regular basis to get injections but they were being asked by doctors to buy drugs from private medical stores as supply has not started from hepatitis programme to centres in compared with demand. The shortage of injections in hepatitis centres had badly affected the programme performance as treatment of hepatitis patients was very costly and majority of patients could not afford treatment of disease. He feared that the lives of patients suffering from different types of hepatitis would be at risk if the shortage of medicines continue in future at hepatitis centres.

When contacted, Hepatitis Prevention and Control Programme Programme Manager Dr Abdul Khaliq Shaikh said the consignment of hepatitis has not been received by the programme management; therefore supply of drugs is partially disturbed. He said the management had registered 2,932 new patients who were deprived of drugs.

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