RATODERO: Sindh Chief Ministers’ Programme for Prevention & Treatment of Hepatitis in Sindh is running without provision of essential equipment since beginning at its Larkana sentinel site.
Only four equipments Micro Palate Reader, Micro Plate Washer, Chemistry Analyzer and Micro Plate Incubator are functioning while all other instruments are either out of order or have not been supplied to this site since beginning which include Laboratory Centrifuge, Water Bath, Hot Air Oven, Incubator, Lab Refrigerator, Blood Collection Tubes, Pipette Stand, Torpedoes, Centrifuge Tubes, disposable Pasteur pipe, pipette aid, pipette Multichannel, yellow |& blue tips, large size gloves, needle cutter, pipette aid test tube racks, breakers, total protection kits, generator and water filters.
Refrigerator is out of order since very long where injections are stored, an assistant professor told media on condition of anonymity for fear of disciplinary proceedings. No generator or its running fuel cost has been provided since beginning of this Hepatitis Sentinel site which shows the lack of Sindh government’s interest in eliminating & preventing this deadly disease which is penetrating fast among the poor populace, particularly in rural and remote areas of the province day by day, he added.
He further elaborated that generator and refrigerators are must to maintain the temperature of these costly injections, otherwise efficacy of these injections will always remain a question mark and both these vital things have not been provided to this Sentinel site since its inception which is astonishing. Unannounced electricity load shedding has multiplied the problem of maintaining the temperature of these costly drugs.
Total protection kits have not been supplied due to which it is feared that the laboratory technicians may get infected while testing blood samples of the affected people.
Billions of rupees were allocated annually since last five years for this programme by the Sindh government out of tax payers’ hard earned money but instead of eliminating or preventing the disease, it is rapidly expanding which should be thoroughly investigated by the probing agencies concerned without loss of further time whether the money was used properly for procurement of quality drugs or else the offending corruption kings should be taken to task for wasting public money.
1160 patients were screened at this site during February 2013 out of which 522 were detected positive. These figures include Hepatitis B, HCV RNA qualitative, HDV RNA quantitative and HCV RNA Genotyping.