Blockade toll : IV fluids stock run out, operations jeopardised
Life saving drugs stock depletes
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, November 09 2011:
On account of the protracted blockades, IV fluids have run out of stock in the State while a shortfall in the stock of major live saving drug brands has been recorded at 10 to 15 per cent.
Stocks of IV fluids which are indispensable in all kinds of operations necessitated by diarrhoea, dysentery, stroke etc have depleted to nil.
The State would face a serious humanitarian crisis and all kinds of surgical operations would have to be suspended if the IV fluids are not procured as a matter of foremost urgency.
Talking to The Sangai Express, Dr RK Ratankumar said that in the aftermath of the burning of two trucks carrying live saving drugs on September 16 at Oinamlong along Imphal-Jiribam highway, one or two truck(s) loaded with drugs were brought to Manipur on every alternate day.
But nowadays, only two or three truck loads of drugs are being procured every week.
Moreover, none of these trucks brought IV fluids on account of which the available stock of IV fluids was completely exhausted.
During summer months, the State requires 10 to 12 truck loads of IV fluids in a month on the average.
The figure is reduced to six to seven truck loads during winter months, and one truck has the capacity to carry 1200 cases of IV fluids, Dr Ratankumar said.
Some other factors for not bringing in IV fluids among the life saving drugs being shipped in to the State are restriction of loaded trucks' weight to only nine tonnes and high transportation cost for IV fluids.
The transportation charge of IV fluids ranges from Rs 1.30 lakhs to Rs 1.50 lakhs per trip.
Moreover, no company bears any responsibility for any disturbance that may happen in the course of transportation.
In view of the prevailing situation in Manipur, where blockade supporters have been burning several loaded trucks at regular intervals, no one is willing to take the risk of transporting IV fluids at present.
Though lighter brands of life saving drugs are being procured by air, there is no such possibility of procuring IV fluids by air as they are relatively much heavier, elaborated Dr Ratankumar.
Regarding shortfalls in the stock of major live saving drugs, he said that companies manufacturing these major brands of life saving drugs have reservations to send drugs to Manipur after the Oinamlong arson.
Though they have not totally stopped supplying drugs, they have been closely watching the situation.
If the present situation continues, it would not be long before the State encounters acute shortage of life saving drugs too.
Earlier, when MCDA wrote and talked personally to the UNC to relax the ongoing blockade for trucks carrying life saving drugs, the UNC replied in the affirmative.
But after two trucks loads of life saving drugs were burnt to ashes at Oinamlong on September 16, the MCDA did not make any further appeal for relaxation.
Now the Government should take full responsibility for shipping in drugs.
The Government is being informed about the stock position of drugs from time to time.
Dr Ratankumar further informed that a truck carrying certain quantity of IV fluids together with other drugs has reached Jiribam on its way to Imphal.