Blockade saps ART supply
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 06 2011:
Protracted economic blockade along the National Highways has led to shortage of ART drugs in the ART Centre at JNIMS posing serious health threat to many patients.
The problem is all the more acute for patients coming from far flung areas, specially those from the hill areas.
Speaking to The Sangai Express, Nodal Officer in-charge of the ART Centre at JNIMS Dr K Priyokumar informed that normally 20,668 ART drugs are required for dispersal among the registered patients of the Centre every month.
But only around 862 ART drugs were in stock by the end of August.
These too have been subsequently distributed among the patients.
Yesterday afternoon, MACS provided 1,200 ART drugs to the ART Centre, JNIMS.
But this will last only for a day and from tomorrow, there would be nothing for the patients.
The Project Director of MACS said that no efforts are spared to avail ART drugs to the patients and added that 10,000 tablets may be brought to Manipur by MACS officials tomorrow.
Explaining that patients on ART medication need to the take ART drugs daily, Dr Priyokumar said that in the absence of ART drugs, the Centre started prescribing combination of Zidovudine and Lamivudine as substitute for combination of Stavudine and Lamivudine since yesterday.
However, this is risky as the combination of Zidovudine and Lamivudine may have side effects and lower the Haemoglobin count.
The drug combination is being provided to the patients after a Haemoglobin test.
The first prescription is only for 10 days and whether the drug combination should be continued or not is subject to another test to be conducted within 8 to 9 days of the first prescription.
Dr Priyokumar further informed that the problem of shortage of ART drugs is more acute for patients living in the hill districts and children.