Nepal Likely to Airlift Medicines

airliftNepal is facing an acute shortage of medicines and life-saving drugs due to the two month blockade in Nepal-India border, nearly 400 trucks laden with drugs are stranded at various points.

Medicines were yet another area of scarcity sparked off by the almost two-month-old blockade by protestors demanding amendment to the constitution that was promulgated on September 20.

Health ministry officials said essential drugs would be brought into the country via the air route. Or the health facilities would suffer, putting thousands of patients at risk.Stocks of medicines and surgical equipment in both government and private hospitals has been depleted.

Apart from drugs, Himalayan nation has begun to suffer shortage of essentials like foodgrains, fuel and cooking gas.

The ministry was working to bring essential medicines from other countries, including Thailand. Many district hospitals reported that they were running out of key medicines as they had not sent emergency medicines to the district health offices for the past two months.

Essential medicines for patients admitted in the intensive care units of major hospitals in Kathmandu were in short supply, while reagent stocks in laboratories too were running low. Radiology units were also struggling to provide diagnostic results due to lack of x-ray films.

Hospitals outside Kathmandu too were facing a crisis as medicines for even fever and common cold were in short supply in many districts.

The border blockade has led to shortage of drugs, particularly those used to cure blood pressure, diabetes, and mental and heart ailments and also affected production within the country.

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