Hemophilia patients face threat to life as funds shortage halts treatment

Hemophilia patients face threat to life as funds shortage halts treatment
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SRINAGAR: Hundreds of hemophilia patients are facing a tough time in the absence of life-saving drugs and equipment as the Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar, is facing a shortage of nearly Rs 9 crore in funds to purchase them.
According to official data prepared by GMC Srinagar, 280 hemophilia patients are registered with it to receive free blood factors and doctors’ consultation.
However, the patients are suffering treatment relapse in the absence of the requisite medicines, due to shortage of funds for the same.
“The budget released last year for 280 Hemophilia patients was Rs 4 crore which is not sufficient to meet the demands of patients,” said an official communication sent to the government by the authorities of Hemophilia Day Care in SMHS Hospital.
“It is strongly recommended that an amount of Rs 12.91 crore should be released for this financial year so that Hemophilia patients are treated properly,” it said.
Sources told Kashmir Reader that the Valley’s major hospital, the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital, is facing an acute shortage of hemophilia drugs and that patients, especially those reaching the hospital at night, are facing a threat to their lives. They are forced to go looking for medicines in the open market, which costs them dearly.
“The hospital always faces shortage of Factor VIII which has a huge requirement of 30 vials per day and costs nearly Rs 4 crore per year for 10,800 vials” said a pharmacist.
He said the drug, which costs nearly Rs 2 lakh per patient for the full course, had run out of stock six months ago. “However, hospital authorities couldn’t purchase it due to fund shortage.”
Last year, a teenage hemophilic boy from Tangmarg, who was injured while playing cricket, died due to the non-availability of a life-saving drug in the SMHS Hospital.
“There was no life-saving drug in the hospital. He would have been alive, but non-availability of medicines became the reason for his death,” his family had said.
Patients said Factor VIII was not being provided to them at the government hospital or any other hospital.
Hemophilia patients have urged the authorities concerned to take immediate steps to save them from further complications. In the absence of Factor VIII, patients are administered Fresh Frozen Plasma, which exposes them to risks of infections such as Hepatitis and HIV.