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'Infectious diseases drug supplies adequate'

Responding to fears of drug shortages following an outbreak of infectious diseases islandwide, the Health Ministry has assured the public there were sufficient drugs available at all government hospitals and OPD clinics.

"We have issued enough stocks for most of the diseases now prevailing in the country including conjunctivitis, chicken pox, measles, diarrhoea, hepatitis, diarrhoea, rat fever.

They are available free of charge to all patients visiting our state hospitals anywhere," sources from the Medical Supplies Division, Ministry of Health told the Sunday Observer.

Asked if the private sector could also access them, they said the drugs were also being issued in limited quantities to the State Pharmaceutical Corporation.

"We are doing this on humanitarian grounds so that the private sector is not left out.

But there are certain norms that must be met first," he said, adding that private hospitals could also order such drugs on a large scale through the Osu Sala or other manufacturers if they wished."

The public will have more options this way", they said. On drugs for AHINI, informed sources said that according to a circular from the Epidemiology Unit, if a patient has developed critical symptoms of AHINI, any anti viral drug would be released directly to the patient according to his/her requirements ,and not to the hospital since these drugs were very costly. This would also prevent over use and development of immunity.

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