NEW DELHI: Delhi government hospitals are facing "acute shortage" of anti-rabies vaccine due to a fall in drug supply, prompting the Centre to call a meeting of health officers and hospital incharges Friday, officials said.
The LNJP Hospital, GB Pant Hospital and other city government-run facilities are facing the shortage as the suppliers are unable to replenish the anti-rabies vaccine (ARV).
"The shortage of ARV at city government-run hospitals has led to patients thronging anti-rabies clinics at Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital and RML Hospital," a senior health ministry official told PTI.
The official said, a meeting chaired by the Director General of Health Services (DGHS) was convened on Friday to discuss the situation, and the Delhi government officials were assured all possible help to tackle the crisis.
Medical Superintendent of LNJP Hospital, the largest health facility under the Delhi government, Dr Kishore Singh, told PTI, "There is an acute shortage of anti-rabies vaccine, and it is because of a fall in supply."
When asked, what could be the possible reasons for rabies patients coming in large number to hospitals, he said, "Number of street dogs seems to have increased." In the meeting held at the Nirman Bhawan here, officials were directed to procure ARVs from a facility in Hyderabad, one of the suppliers to the central government hospitals here.
"They (Delhi government) have been asked to procure ARVs from Hyderabad-based facility India Immunologicals Limited at a rate decided by the Centre, which is Rs 180 per vial. They have some of their tenders under finalisation, which would hopefully ease out the situation. The Delhi government has a requirement of 30,000 vials of ARVs per month, which amounts to nearly one lakh vials in one quarter," the official said.
Meanwhle, Safdarjung Hospital and RML Hospital have also been asked to ramp up their stock of anti-rabies vaccines, officials said.