Medi-snippets: State hospitals to get cancer, other drugs | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: State hospitals to get cancer, other drugs

6 January, 2019

Health Minister, Dr Rajitha Senaratne has reportedly instructed health officials to provide all required drugs to all state hospitals as soon as possible, and to airlift one stock of a cancer drug said to be in shortage at a leading Cancer facility. The Maharagama Apeksha Hospital, the premier national cancer treatment hospital in the country, is said to have stopped admitting cancer patients on December 21 due to a drug shortage. Hence, the Health Minister reportedly instructed that five cancer drugs be dispatched to reach this hospital by Monday (24) . Another cancer drug will be purchased locally and provided to the Hospital. Deputy Director General ( Medical Supplies) Dr Lal Pannipitiya was quoted as admitting that there was a shortage of 71 drugs in state hospitals. He reportedly said, the MSD had heart stent stocks required for two months and eye lenses required for six months, adding that the stocks had been imported before October 26 by Dr Seneratne. Following this disclosure the Minister reportedly said he would instruct all health officials in state hospitals to provide these drugs as soon as possible to patients in urgent need of them.

Over 5,000 dengue cases , 52 deaths, in 2018

A total of 49,132 dengue cases and 52 deaths have been reported to the Govt Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, in 2018. Dengue cases peaked in January with 7,278 cases and began tumbling due to dengue control measures taken by the Health Ministry. However, the threat of another dengue outbreak looms in the wake of the current weather pattern. At least 13 districts in the island have recorded over 1,500 cases for the month, led by Colombo with the Colombo Municipal Council area listed among the highest, with a total of 2,359 dengue cases reported during the 12 months ending 2018 . Other parts of the Colombo district recorded a total of 7,192 cases. Epidemiologists said the total number of dengue cases reported was from the Western Province, at 17,900.

Dengue Control sources said an on going dengue control program enlisting the cooperation of the tri Forces and Ministry officials was underway to carry out fogging, spraying and clearing of breeding sites in all high risk areas.

Hospital blamed for dumping clinical waste

Clinical waste from the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital is reportedly scattered in the hospital premises exposing residents to severe health risks. Patients visiting the Hospital have been quoted as saying that unless this environmental hazard is addressed soon, they would be open to many diseases from within the Hospital complex itself.

They have said that the improperly dumped hospital waste attracted stray dogs and cats, and crows as well as mosquitoes and they could easily get dengue which was raging in the country. They charged that a large quantity of the clinical waste contaminated the water sources located close to the area where the waste was dumped. Residents and patients have reportedly charged that a high quantity of bandages with blood stains were scattered in the compound and that an unbearable stench permeated from them. They said the waste had been dumped for many weeks and several piles of clinical waste were now covered with wax covers due to the rain.

Meanwhile, Hospital Director Arjun Thilakeratne has reportedly said, the company that received the contract for removing the waste had suspended their service due to a legal snag. The Director reportedly informed that the service would re commence once the issue is settled, adding that the Hospital had placed temporary containers at many locations to collect the waste, as was the practice in many other hospitals faced with the same issue.

Road accidents spike in Kurunegala

Twelve persons had died in 11 accidents that had taken place in Galgamuwa, Kurunegala, from January to December 2018 while the total number of accidents during the same period was 74. Sources said that compared to the previous year the number of persons who died in road accidents was 11 in a total of 95 accidents.

Police Traffic Unit OIC IP Dumina Nayanasiri has been quoted as saying that around 936 suspects had been arrested for drunken driving for the year and that eight persons died in road accidents daily in the country. He added that around 768 police officers had been deployed in the Kurunegala division to apprehend errant drivers during the festive season to minimise road accidents.

Christmas incidents send 548 to National Hospital

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day incidents of road accidents, and domestic violence as well as violent acts caused by excessive drinking rose by 18 percent compared to the figures for the two days of the previous year. National Hospital Coordinator Pushpa Ramya Soyza is reported to have said that this year the number of incidents during Christmas holidays totalled 548 which was 13% more than the 484 incidents reported the previous year. She noted the number of road accidents on December 24 and 25 ( 163) was 18% higher in comparison to the previous year during the same period. Violence related incidents ( 35) on Christmas eve and on Christmas day, on the other hand, decreased by 9% compared to the corresponding period last year.

Domestic violence incidents too reported on the two days of Christmas had reduced by 19% and 5% on December 24 and 25 respectively over the previous year with a total of 179 being admitted to hospital. She also noted that for the first time no fireworks injuries had been reported to the Colombo National Hospital.

“This shows that the hard work put in by the Road Safety Unit of the Accident Service and Health Ministry to educate the public, especially, parents and children about the safety rules to follow when lighting fireworks has shown positive results. We can only hope that even after the dawn of the New Year we will continue to maintain this record and there will be no admissions of burns or scalds or other injuries both among young children and adults.

Docs advised to be careful when treating patients

Sri Jayewardenpura University Medical Faculty Prof Chandanie Wanigatunge, speaking at the AGM of the National Council for the Deaf ( NCD) held in Colombo last week has reportedly warned doctors to be careful when they treat patients.

Lauding the invaluable services that the NCD provides for children with hearing difficulties , she said, doctors should be careful when prescribing medicines to people with hearing impairment since they could purchase the wrong medicine. She said people should minimise medicines to reduce the harm they could do if taken improperly. She advised patients to take all their medical records when visiting a doctor to ensure that they get the right medicines.

Bus conductor held in drug charge

Drug use has spiked in Kurunegala, the latest suspect being a bus conductor who was remanded for possessing 2.72 grams of heroin. Police sources have been quoted as saying that in the past ten months, about 1,236 suspects had been apprehended in connection with drug related offences in Kurunegala.

They said, youth and schoolchildren were often the target, and warned parents that becoming addicted to drugs could leave lasting emotional and physical scars on the addicts, affecting their family relationships and posing an added strain on the already over burdened Health budget to rehabilitate offenders.