Health crisis looms as Sri Lanka medicines run out

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Sri Lanka has run out of dollars to procure vital imports of food and fuel, triggering weeks of dem-onstrations demanding the government step down.

But it is in the health sector that the consequences of the crisis are most visceral. Ghany, 63, was trying to secure supplies of pertuzumab, the monoclonal antibody used to treat breast cancer.

“This is the first time during her cancer treatment that I have not been able to find her medicine,” he said, breaking down. His 55-year-old wife was “very sick”, he told AFP. “What do I do? I am helpless. But I will do whatever I can to save her.” Sri Lanka used to import around 85 per cent of its pharmaceuticals but is suffering its worst eco-nomic crisis since 1948.

Multiple health workers told AFP that hospitals and chemist stores across the country were running out of essential medicines.

Viraj Jayasinghe, consultant paediatrician at Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, a state facility in Colombo, said his department normally maintains as much as six months worth of stocks.—AFP

 

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