Jaffna faces shortage of critical medicines
[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 February 2007, 13:19 GMT]
Jaffna Teaching Hospital, Manthikai Government hospital in Point Pedro and other hospitals in Jaffna district are unable to perform surgeries as stocks of saline drip and other essential medicines have depleted, medical sources in Jaffna said. Government supplies of medicines earmarked for the first quarter of year 2007 has not been shipped from Colombo to Jaffna, hospital sources said. Residents of Jaffna peninsula requiring critical medicines are forced to pay up sometimes up to ten times the normal market value from private traders who have small amount of stocks left, according to Jaffna residents.
Although two months of first quarter of 2007 are almost over, essential medicines, oxygen cylinders and other surgical accessories are yet to be shipped from Colombo, medical sources in Jaffna said.
Since the SLA closure of the A9 route to Jaffna in 11 August 2006, essential medicines and other medical needs for the peninsula arrived in ships from Colombo.
Dr. A. Ketheeswaran, Director of Public Health Service in Jaffna district, said Saturday that essential medicines allocated for the first quarter of 2007 are being loaded in ship in Colombo and that the consignment is expected to reach Jaffna soon.
He, however, did not mention a specific time frame for the arrival of medicines.
He also added that action has been taken to ship sufficient number of oxygen cylinders to Jaffna peninsula.