Doctors warn severe shortage of medicines in Vanni
[TamilNet, Friday, 06 March 2009, 07:56 GMT]
The Government of Sri Lankan and its armed forces have systematically blocked medical supplies, causing several patients to die at the hospital and inflicted slow death of patients dependent on medications. The makeshift-hospital at Puthumaaththa'lan is struggling to cope with the situation. On Thursday, Dr. Saththiyamoorthy, the Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS) of Ki'linochchi district, in his situation report, said medicines for four months have not arrived in Vanni.
Patients avaiting for medical treatment under the trees outside the makeshift-hospital. A wounded mother is struggling with her child.
"There is a severe shortage of medicines, particularly the anesthetic drugs, surgical items, IV fluids (normal saline/Dextrose/Hartman), IV antibiotics ( C.Penicillin / Ampicilli n /Cefotaxime ), Oral antibiotics (Amoxycillin/Flagyl/Penicillin/Cotrim), Paediatric syrups, Jeevani, ARV, toxoid and Vaccines," Dr. Saththiyamoorthy said in his report.
"Immunization programmed has been disturbed for the last 2 months. Children are getting vaccination at 2 places with the available vaccines. Vaccines coverage is below 50%," the report further said.
An NGO activist helping civilians outside the makeshift-hospital in Puthumaaththa'lan on Friday blamed Colombo for transforming medicine into just another weapon of its 'genocidal war' on Tamils.
4th Geneva Convention requires free passage of all medical supplies intended for civilians. However, the Government of Sri Lanka, a signatory to the Geneva Convention, has systematically blocked the medical supplies.
Furthermore the siege and the instructed closure of medical facilities for civilians in Vanni constitute serious crimes against humanity, the NGO activist lamented.
Patients waiting outside the hospital