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Hepatitis patients suffer as Saidu hospital short of medicine

Hepatitis patients suffer as Saidu hospital short of medicine

MINGORA: Hundreds of hepatitis patients in Swat district have complained about shortage of medicines in Saidu Teaching Hospital (STH), and appealed to the provincial government to provide the same without delay.

Hepatitis-C patients from several areas complained that the officials at the hospital refused to provide them the much needed injections, citing its shortage.

“I have been coming to the STH for last three months seeking hepatitis treatment, but doctors repeatedly say there is no medicine in the hospital. As a result, I have to purchase the injections privately at huge cost,” said Iqbal Mand, a hepatitis-C patient, and resident of Khawzakhela.

The injections, according to patients, are very expensive which they cannot afford to buy from private drug stores. “Treatment for hepatitis costs Rs20,000 to Rs30,000 and poor people cannot afford to avail it privately,” said another hepatitis patient, Jawad Ahmad of Bahrain.

“An official in the hospital told me that they had stock for only 300 hepatitis patients,” he added.

Though simple interferon is in reach of well off people, however, pegylated interferon is too expensive to be purchased even by a rich family.

Patients suffering from viral hepatitis-C appealed to the provincial government to immediately provide them with the pegylated interferon injections.

When contacted, in charge of the hepatitis control programme in STH, Qari Anwarullah, told Dawn that about 800 patients of hepatitis were registered with them. Among them 200 are suffering from the chronic Hepatitis-C Virus (HCV), he added.

“We have stock of interferon injections for only 300 patients but don’t have a single pegylated interferon injection. We get all the injections from Peshawar Hepatitis Control Programme. Once we get the injections from there we will immediately provide it to patients,” he assured.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Hepatitis Prevention and Control Programme Assistant Director Dr Kaleemullah told Dawn that due to non-availability of funds they didn’t have pegylated interferon. However, he said they had enough of stock of interferon injections.

COMPLAINT CELL: Commissioner Malakand Division Kifayatullah Khan on Tuesday established a special complaint cell in his office to ensure free and fair and peaceful local government elections in the region.

According to a press release, citizens can call round the clock on phone numbers: 0345-4000818, 0301-8044052, 9240427, 9240185 to register their complaints.

Meanwhile, Swat Deputy Commissioner Mehmood Aslam Wazir on Tuesday banned display of weapons during and after the elections, and entry of foreigners into the district. The order will be in effect for a month.

Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2015

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