ONGOLE: Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ongole, which caters to the health needs of the entire Prakasam as well as neighbouring districts, is facing a severe shortage of medicines. Due to lack of adequate funds with RIMS and the AP Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation (APMSIDC), medicines, including anti-rabies vaccine (ARV), are not available in government hospitals in the district.
In the wake of an increase in stray dog menace in the district, poor people are forced to spend `1,300 to Rs 1,800 per a vial of ARV due to its non-availability in government hospitals in dog bite cases.
Several villagers were attacked by stray dogs at Darsi and Madanuru village in Kothapatnam Mandal recently. As there were no ARV stocks in local hospitals, most of them were referred to RIMS. Due to lack of stocks at RIMS, the patients were asked to get the vaccine from private pharmacies by bearing the cost of `1,800. A dog bite victim needs to be administered 5 to 6 doses of ARV based on the severity of injury.
RIMS requires 25,000 vials of ARV per annum. But there is no ARV supply from the Central Drug Stores as the APMSIDC has not invited tenders yet for it. All most all the Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and cluster headquarters hospitals are facing acute shortage of ARV. There is also tetanus vaccine shortage in majority of hospitals in the district.
The Central Drug Stores authorities sent 50 ARV vials to Markapur hospital from the PHC at Gudluru recently to meet an emergency situation. Though RIMS authorities proposed to purchase ARV from private pharmacies to overcome the shortage, the Hospital Development Society (HDS) does not have enough funds. As a result, shortage of ARV in government hospitals continue.
According to official sources, RIMS has been facing shortage of medicines for the past few months as APMSIDC has not sent the stock as per the indent placed by the Central Drug Store (CDS) in Prakasam. Hence, the CDS is not in a position to supply life saving drugs to government hospitals, including RIMS.
“We are facing acute shortage of ARV. There is no supply of ARV from the CDS. Though we tried to buy the stock from a private agency in Vijayawada, it sought four days time to deliver the stock. We are going to place an order for 100 ARV vials, said Dr D Sreeramulu, superintendent of RIMS.
7 area hospitals
14 Community Health Centres
25,000 vials of ARV RIMS requirement per annum