Health centers dispose off medicines meant for free distribution
KATHMANDU, Aug 21: Even as hundreds of people across the country are being deprived of medicines, health centers under the District Public Health Office (DPHO), Kathmandu have been disposing off medicines worth hundreds of thousands of rupees every month.
Due to huge supply by the central and regional stores without proper assessment of the demands, medicines meant for free distribution are being destroyed in large quantities.
To avoid further dumping of medicines, the District Public Health Office (DPHO), Kathmandu recently urged the regional drugs depot in Hetauda that caters to the need of three zones in the central region, not to supply more drugs.
The Public Health Office has also made similar request with the Logistic Management Division (LMD), under Department of Health Services (DoHS), that supplies 70 percent of the medicines meant for free distribution through health centers across the country.
The DPHO, Kathmandu said that it does not have space to store more drugs and lots of drugs already in its stock are expiring.
“We recently sent huge consignments of drugs to the pharmacies of Bir Hospital, Maternity Hospital and Kanti Bal Hospital for free distribution. Had we not distributed the medicines, they would have to be destroyed as they were about to expire soon,” said Mahendra Prasad Shrestha, chief of Kathmandu DPHO.
Health workers at health centers under Kathmandu DPHO complained that the office usually supplies medicines with only few months before their expiry and that they are left with no option but to dump them.
Under the scheme of “Free Health Program,” the LMD procures medicines in bulk and supplies across the country. But due to lack of proper coordination between the public health offices, large quantities of medicines are wasted.
Health workers are of the view that only a proper coordination among various government departments can ensure that drugs meant for free distribution would reach the needy people.
Naresh Pratap KC, director at LMC, concedes that there are flaws in the distribution mechanism of the government.
“We have realized the flaws in the distribution channel and are working to sort out the problems,” KC said. KC said the problems in distribution can be corrected by establishing proper communication channels and making regular assessment of demand and supply.