Medicines meant for Mugu locals never reach to target groups

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The government provides 70 types of medicines free of cost to the people from the District Hospitals, 58 types from the primary health centers and 35 sorts of medicines from the health posts across the country.

However, people in rural areas in Mugu are facing the crisis of general medicines.

Medicines supplied by the District Public Health Office (DPHO), Mugu to health facilities based in the rural areas never reach to the target groups, forcing them to visit the private pharmacies instead.

The DPHO Mugu annually purchases the medicines worth up to Rs 2.5 million and provides them to the district-based health facilities and the Department of Health Services Mid Western Regional Medical Store Nepalgunj supplies medicines for the district in equal quantity every year. But it is a dream for the people residing in rural parts of Mugu to easily get medicines from the government health facilities in need.

Store Chief Dilli Pokhrel said though giving the exact figure of medicines supplied to the district is not possible now, the supply depends on the demand from the respective health facilities. He hoped that the recent amendment to the Public Procurement Act has somehow addressed the problem of medicine crisis in the rural areas.

On the other hand, 24 health posts, four units and one primary health post in the district always reel under the shortage of medicines. It shows that medicines sent from the centre to the rural areas go missing on the way before reaching the destination.

"Where the medicines released from the DPHO to the rural areas go is always a mystery, DPHO Chief Dr Saroj Adhikari said. We are regularly supplying medicines to the rural areas but public complaints about the constant shortage of medicines is as it is," he said, adding that the Office is seriously working on to find out the cause behind the continued crisis of medicines in the rural areas.

Health facilities at seven VDCs in Khatyad belt are facing a severe shortage of even basic medicines like paracetamol, said local resident Ratan Bahadur Shahi. There are seven health posts and a primary health center in the VDCs.

In a bid to ensure access to medicines, health workers from five VDCs in the Karan belt visit the areas in every two to three months and distribute medicines among the locals, local people said.

One of the reason health facilities in rural areas often lack medicines is that medicines supplied to respective health institutions by the District Public Health Office are often distributed or sold off midway.

"DPHO provides essential medicines. But they do not reach the respective health institution. Rather they are distributed or sold off or thrown away midway," said Chhorten Lama of Mugu VDC.

Earlier around three days ago, local people of Soru belt had drawn the attention of the DPHO to the failure for medicines supplied by it to reach their respective destinations.

"There are health posts. However, they lack health workers and medicines. We are forced to go to private health facilities for treatment, which charge almost more than double," said Tirtha Malla, local resident of Sorukot at Jima VDC.

When asked, Prem Bahadur Rawat, chief of store section of the DPHO, said the DPHO is regularly supplying basic medicines as per demand.

"However, we are receiving complaints that medicines supplied by the DPHO do not reach their respective destinations. The DPHO is concerned about the matter," he said. RSS

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