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Nuns warn of fake medicines

Epidemic continues to spread, more die in government hospitals

Ward of a government hospital in Lahore Ward of a government hospital in Lahore
  • ucanews.com, Lahore
  • Pakistan
  • January 30, 2012
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Medical Mission nuns have advised patients to be cautious as the death toll escalates due to fake medicines at a government institute, with three more dying yesterday.

The medicine supplied at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology since last month has stimulated an unknown disease that stops generation of white blood cells and thus ends the body’s resistance.

To date, 112 heart patients have died of reactions from fake medicine provided at government hospitals in Lahore.

“Most of the victims are poor people”, said Medical Mission Sister Ijinia John, a nurse and midwife. “We used to refer our patients to government hospitals but now are at a loss. We now advise them to go for proper tests and to use the minimum of medicines. Gluttony and moral decline have corrupted the holy profession."

She is among nine nuns managing outreach health program in Lahore and Faisalabad dioceses. They are presently running a dispensary for preventive health care in Faisalabad.

Sr John also stressed the need for a health minister in the province to resolve health concerns. “Both government and doctors are responsible for loss of lives”.

Media reports say there are around 600 non-registered factories producing medicines in Punjab province.

The Young Doctors Association (YDA) said health policy is the responsibility of the Punjab government and transfer or suspension of senior doctors is no solution.

“They purchase medicine of lowest quality at lowest rate. There is no drug regulation authority while drug testing laboratories are not properly equipped”, said Salman Kazmi Gen, secretary of YDA.

“The patients are now afraid of using medicines, which is worsening the situation”, he added.

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