No Hepatitis C drugs available at Hepatitis Centres

Karachi

KARACHI:Hepatitis C medicines are not available at Hepatitis Centers across Sindh province since several months

Sindh health department has failed to supply drugs to such centres run by Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program Sindh. Thousands of newly screened hepatitis C patients have been put on waiting all over the Sindh province by consultants due to shortage of medicines.

The newly registered patients at Hepatitis Centers at Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC), Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and other government hospitals are not being provided hepatitis C medicines since last several months after end of stock, causing great hardships to the patients.

The Hepatitis Centre at Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi is registering 40 to 50 new hepatitis C patients on daily basis, but they have been put on hold due to shortage of medicines.

The hepatitis C patients Hyderabad, Nawabshah, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur and other districts of the province are visiting the Hepatitis Centers to get medicines but they are being asked by the doctors to buy drugs from private medical stores.

The shortage of drugs has badly affected the program performance as treatment of hepatitis patients is very costly and a big number of patients could not afford treatment cost of this viral disease. The shortage of medicines have put lives of score of patients suffering from hepatitis C at risk.

More than 61 Treatment Centres are established at teaching, districts and tehsil hospital level. Media Coordinator, Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program, Sindh, Khurram Khan, while talking to PPI, said the supply of medicines used to treatment hepatitis C patients had been suspended due to unavailability of drugs.

He was of the view that these medicines are obtained through centralized procurement system. He explained that hepatitis B drugs are available at Centers and only hepatitis C medicines are not available.