Karachi: Acute shortage of medicines and injections continued to persist at the hepatitis centres of Hepatitis Prevention & Control Programme (HP&CP), Sindh, posing a serious threat to the lives of hundreds of patients suffering from different types of the disease.
A large number of hepatitis patients visiting the HP&CP’s centres often return disappointed upon being asked by the staff of the centres to arrange injections from private pharmacies.
However, the poor patients are the worst sufferers as they cannot afford buying hepatitis injections from private medical stores owing to their high prices.
Meanwhile, an official of the provincial HP&CP, on the condition of anonymity, told this scribe that the management of the programme has been facing difficulties in supplying injections and drugs to its centres across the province in the wake of poor supply system as well as the inordinate delay in floating tenders for purchasing the drugs and injections.
He said though the Sindh Health Minister had instructed the officials concerned not to delay the supply of injections and drugs to the hepatitis centres, fresh supply of injections and drugs was not forthcoming for the last couple of months, thereby posing serious health risks to the newly registered patients throughout the province.
Giving break-up of newly registered hepatitis patients, the official said that around 7,000 new hepatitis patients were registered in the last three months across the province and of them 2,000 are in Karachi.
“There are 13 hepatitis centres in Karachi where around 2,000 newly registered patients are deprived of medicines and injections,” he added.
He apprehended that lives of patients suffering from different types of hepatitis would be at risk if the issue of shortage of medicines at the hepatitis centres continues to linger on.
HP&CP’s manager Dr Abdul Khaliq Shaikh, when contacted, said that the supply of drugs has been partially affected owing to delay in receiving the new consignment of hepatitis injections and drugs.
He was, however, optimistic that supply of the medicines to the HP&CP’s centres would begin from March.