MAHOTTARI, July 30: A health post at Shreepur VDC of Mahottari district has been found distributing date-expired medicines to tuberculosis (TB) patients.
The incident came to light after Sharbesh Jha, a six-year-old TB patient from Shreepur-9, was given outdated medicines by the health post in-charge Ram Kishwar Sah. After consuming the medicines, the health of the patient deteriorated. When Sharbesh's father, Santosh, checked the medicine's date, he found that it was seven months past the expiration date.
Santosh then confronted the health post in charge seeking explanation. “Instead of answering my questions, he began threatening me,” he said.
Santosh then filed a complaint against Sah at a nearby police post.
The police then seized 252 tablets of expired TB medicines, according to Superintendent of Police (SP) Janak Bhattarai, of District Police Office (DPO), Mahottari.
“We have arrested Shah and filed a case against him at the court charging him with black-marketing. This is a serious matter as it concerns public health. We are investigating it very seriously,” said SP Bhattarai, adding that the District Public Health Office (DPHO), Mahottari, will also be dragged to court if found guilty of supplying expired medicines.
According to him, the police will also raid other health posts in the district to check whether they are selling date-expired medicines.
“We cannot raid government offices without receiving complaints,” added DSP Bhattarai.
Stating that government employees themselves compromising public's health, locals have demanded stern action against those found guilty.
Meanwhile, chief of the DPHO, Manish Pandey, said he is not aware about the situation. “Shreepur-based health post should have destroyed the date-expired medicines. We'll find out why they didn't do so,” said Pandey.
“Consumers should also be responsible. They should check the dates of medicines before receiving it,” he added. He also promised to monitor other health posts in the district to check whether they have stocked expired medicines.