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Friday, March 24, 2023

SL battles shortage of 160 vital medicines


Hospitals in Sri Lanka are experiencing shortages of 160 essential medicines, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

The Island quoted the Deputy Director General of Medical Supplies, Dr. D R K Herath, as saying that hospitals in the country use essential medicines. “There is a shortage of 160 (medicines). We hope well-wishers will help us.”

One of the essential drugs in short supply is Glyceryl trinitrate or GTN, used to treat heart ailments, he said.

“We also need Streptokinase, a drug used to break down clots in some cases of myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism and arterial thromboembolism. We also need the Atropine vaccine used for resuscitation of those who suffer cardiac arrest. We really need to get a new stock, within two weeks,” he said.

Dr. Herath added that the World Bank had given $23 million to procure medicines.

“This is a very flexible grant and we have already placed orders,” he said. The Ministry of Health was having talks with the Asian Development Bank to have $66.6 million released.

Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis has triggered serious shortages of essential commodities including medicines due to lack of foreign exchange to buy them.

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