Hemophilia patients suffer as medicine shortage hits hospitals of North Bengal

Jalpaiguri: Owing to lack of funds from the National Health Mission, a Government of India programme, the supply of hemophilia medicines have dried up at all major hospitals in North Bengal, including North Bengal Medical College and Hospital and Cooch Behar Medical College Hospital, for almost two months. Hundreds of patients are being affected owing to this.

According to the official list, the number of hemophilia patients in the districts of North Bengal is about 205 to 210, all of whom receive treatment from government hospitals.

Sujatha Minanda, Secretary of the Siliguri Hemophilia Society, said: “Hemophilia is a complex blood disorder. Despite this, the medicine called Anti Hemophilic Factor has been unavailable for almost two months. This is why the society has been constantly demanding that supplies be normalised.”

The state Health department has directed that the anti-hemophilic factor should be injected twice a week for the treatment of hemophilia patients. However, due to the lack of medicine, patients are being deprived. Bishnu Roy, who suffers from this disease, said: “I had to take injections every week, but the injections have been unavailable since the past two months. Owing to the lack of medicine, my hands and feet are swelling.”

Dr Bidyut Kanti Goswami, in-charge of the Thalassemia and Hemophilia Unit at North Bengal Medical College, said: “This issue has been ongoing for a while. Basically, this medicine is bought with money from the National Health Mission but that money is not coming. As a result, patients are in trouble.”

Dr Hasimuddin Sheikh, in-charge of the Thalassemia and Hemophilia Unit at Jalpaiguri Medical College, said: “We have some antihemophilic factors, but the amount is very limited. For this reason, the medicine, which was given once or twice a week to all patients above the age of 13 years, has been forcibly stopped for the time being. However, the medicine is still being given on an emergency basis.”

The situation could get worse if supplies are not regularised, feel the doctors.

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