Hepatitis-C patients suffer due to non-availability of drugs

KARACHI: The newly registered Hepatitis-C patients in Sindh province have been deprived of life-saving drugs for three months as Sindh Health Department has failed to purchase medicines for this disease, it was learned on Thursday.

The Hepatitis Prevention & Control Program, Sindh (Chief Minister Initiative) has been facing acute shortage of drugs for three months due to delay in issuance of tender by authorities concerned of Sindh health department and poor supply system.

Scores of newly registered hepatitis-C patients throughout province are put on waiting list by the doctors due to shortage drugs at Hepatitis Centers. Although, old registered patients are receiving medicines on regular basis but unfortunately the newly registered patients do not get them.

Sources said newly registered patients at Hepatitis Centers at Civil Hospital Karachi, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Sindh Government Qatar Hospital and Sindh Government Hospital Liaquatabad and other government hospitals are not getting drugs, causing great inconvenience for them.

Similarly, the registered patients in Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur and other districts of province are visiting the hepatitis centers on to get medicines but are advised by doctors to purchase medicines from private medical stores.

The shortage of medicines in hepatitis centers has badly affected program performance as treatment of hepatitis patients is very costly and majority of patients could not afford treatment of disease. The shortage of drugs has put lives of patients suffering from hepatitis C at risk.

Talking to PPI, Media Coordinator, Hepatitis Prevention & Control Program, Sindh, Khurram Khan, said supply of drugs would be resumed to hepatitis centers throughout the province by the end of this month. He informed that shortage was due to delay in issuance of tender for purchase of new stock.