Citizen journalism: Procuring medicine for black fungus a big challenge in Telangana

Online requisition process for drugs to treat black fungus or to procure any other life-saving medicine during this pandemic is putting citizens to a lot of inconvenience in Telangana.

By Pradeep Kumar Gollamudi  Published on  26 May 2021 12:41 PM GMT
Citizen journalism: Procuring medicine for black fungus a big challenge in Telangana

Hyderabad: Online requisition process for drugs to treat black fungus or to procure any other life-saving medicine during this pandemic is putting citizens to a lot of inconvenience in Telangana.

Telangana government declared black fungus as a `notifiable disease' on May 20. The state health department also declared that failure to report such cases of Mucormycosis a punishable offense.

During the first task force meeting held on May 12, KT Rama Rao, the minister of Industries and IT was keen to procure medicines required for treating black fungus in advance and sensitize people and the health fraternity over the infection.

"To all those who've been seeking medicines for Black Fungus/Mucormycosis, please send an email to [email protected] and [email protected] in the format given below. You can also send the same via Twitter to @DMETELANGANA with a copy to @KTRoffice so we can follow up," said KTR on May 20.

Director of Medical Education(DME) on 20th May 2021 through its Twitter handle has issued an update that in case of requirement of Drugs like Liposomal Amphotericin B, Posaconazole, and Isavuconazole, which are used to treat black fungus; the hospital authorities (where the black fungus infected patient is being treated ) have to put an online application requesting the allotment of those drugs for that hospital/patient.

After the application is received through the hospital management desk, it will be scrutinized by a committee consisting of DME, Superintendent of ENT Hospital, and HoD of Department of ENT, Gandhi Medical College. After thorough scrutiny, the committee will indicate the name of the stockiest from which medicine can be purchased.

One should note that DME(@dme_telangana) Twitter account was created in the month of July 2017 and is active only from 20th May 2021.

As per KTR tweet which was tweeted on 20th May, if any individual/patient/patient relatives put a request through online application for the above-mentioned drugs, however, a few of them got a reply mail from DME saying that the medicine requisition should come from the hospital where the patient is admitted and getting treated.

This ambiguity in the procedures is leading to delay in the procurement of the drugs that are used for black fungus and other life-saving medicines.

Imagine the turmoil of the patients and those who sent a mail requesting medicine again. They have to request through the hospital until and unless KTR updates that he will take care of all the old requests of Black Fungus and other life-saving medicines.

Now, the patients/individuals who have already sent a requisition letter are in a confused state of mind whether they will get the permit or will have to send another application through the hospital authorities where the patient is admitted.

If this ambiguity among the patients/patient's relatives/hospital authorities persist, it may lead to delay in the treatment of the patient and this delay may also cause irreparable damage to the patient's health.

Although the media has quoted the online process for acquiring black fungus drugs, there is no clarity whether the requisition should be made by the hospital authorities or by individuals.

The government is taking all possible measures to curb the illegal sale of these drugs. But imagine the condition of hospitals/patient's from rural areas will they be able to acquire the drug where the internet is a constraint and where there is a poor literacy rate.

So, I request the Government, Minister of Industries, and IT of Telangana, KTR, and DME Telangana to take proper care to convey this process to the rural and unreachable areas through all the possible means of media (TV, Newspaper, SMS, etc).

Lesser the ambiguity quicker the treatment, and faster the recovery. Kindly note to clearly mention the procedure for acquiring drugs so that there would not be any delay in the treatment. I also request the committee, DME to approve the applications put in by the individuals who have put the requests based on KTR Sir's comments.

Several times I have asked those who are handling KTR Twitter handles updating the communication properly.

I have made several requests to KTR through Twitter to update the procedure properly but did not receive any response. Therefore through NewsMeter, I would like to make one more attempt to request our Telangana government and Honorable KTR Sir to clearly mention the appropriate procedure for acquiring black fungus or any other life-saving medicines.

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