36% of BHUs, RHCs in K-P lack lifesaving drugs

Only 15% of funds allocated for purchase of medicines could be spent


Shahida Parveen August 07, 2020
Photo: File

PESHAWAR:

At least 36 per cent of all basic health units and rural health centres in the province lack critical lifesaving medicines, said a report of the health department on Thursday.

The report read that Basic Health Units (BHUs) and Rural Health Centres (RHCs) in as many as 16 districts of the province are faced with a shortage of life-saving medicines.

In the provincial capital, medicines are available at less than half of all BHUs and RHCs, at just 43 per cent, the report added.

It also said 45 per cent health facilities in Battagram have lifesaving medicines while the rest are facing a shortage.

The report further informed that the budget allocated for the purchase of medicines during the current year has not been fully spent.

However, at least 84 per cent of health facilities in three districts, including Haripur, Bannu and Kohat have reported the availability of medicines.

It further added that 78 per cent of health facilities in Mansehra, Dera Ismail Khan, Abbottabad, Chitral, Lakki Marwat, Karak and Swabi districts have reported the availability of life-saving medicines.

Moreover, around 50 per cent of BHUs and RHCs in Shangla, Torghar, Kohai Palas, Lower Dir, Malakand, Upper Kohistan, Lower Kohistan, Charsadda are faced with a shortage of medicines, the report stated.

The report further revealed that during the last financial year only 15 per cent of the allocated budget for the purchase of medicines were utilised due to which provision of free medicines to patients was suspended.

The report added that during the six months of the current year, the target of lifesaving medicines at these health facilities could not be achieved.

Meanwhile, the K-P government has decided to extend the Independent Monitoring Units (IMU) of the provincial health department to the merged districts. For this purpose, at least 60 vacancies of grade 16 of monitoring and data collection assistants have been created.

Sources informed that a total of 8,312 candidates have applied for these position out of which 500 have been shortlisted. Interviews of the shortlisted candidates are expected to be completed next week, the sources added.

The necessary equipment for the IMUs of the health department would be procured by December 30 this year.

At present, IMU teams of the K-P Health Department are monitoring the health facilities, however, after appointments, teams of the monitoring and data collection assistants would perform these duties.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2020.

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