Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)
State faces drug shortage as black fungus cases rise
CM urges Centre to supply Amphotericin injections in a timebound manner
JAIPUR: Amid rising cases of mucormycosis or black fungus, Rajasthan is facing a shortage of liposomal amphotericin B, the injection used for the treatment of the disease, officials said.
According to the health department, over 2600 cases of black fungus have been identified in Rajasthan till date, which was 700 a fortnight back.
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday demanded that the Centre increase the supply of Amphotericin injections for the treatment of patients who contract the fungal infection.
“Like Remdesivir injections, the central government has taken the responsibility of allocating Amphotericin injections to states for black fungus, but the states are not getting injections on time, which is causing a lot of trouble to the patients,” Gehlot said in a tweet. “If the injection is given to the patient in time, then life can be saved.”
The chief minister appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and health minister Harsh Vardhan
to ensure the availability of injections in a time-bound manner, so that patients can be treated on time.
A senior official of the health department, wishing not to be named, said the Centre has provided around 12,000 injections, but the per day requirement is at least 15,000.
At SMS hospital, which has a separate ward and OPD for black fungus treatment, around 290 patients have been admitted and over 200 surgeries have been conducted to remove the fungus, hospital authorities said.
A senior doctor of SMS hospital said, “At present, the requirement is 1700 vials of the injection per day at the SMS hospital but we are not receiving even half of it. Today, 75 were received and on Thursday we got 100.” He said, “A patient needs around six injections per day but we aren’t able to provide the same. Due to the shortage, we are giving preference to patients who undergo surgery.”
Another cause of worry for doctors is that the cases of black fungus are resurfacing even after surgery due to a shortage of drugs in Rajasthan.
“In around half-a-dozen cases the fungus has resurfaced after surgery due to lack of medicine after 4-5 days,” said Dr Satish Jain, a senior doctor at Jain ENT hospital.
“A patient affected with fungus needs 6-7 injections per day from the start of the treatment, which may be extended to a month if the fungus has reached the brain. But if the injection is given in excess, it damages the kidney.”
The state has notified black fungus as an epidemic under the Rajasthan Epidemic Act 2020 and is providing free treatment to the patients. Teams of medical and health departments are being sent for door-to-door survey in the affected areas by giving them necessary training.
Forty-four Covid-19 related deaths and 1,258 fresh cases were reported in Rajasthan on Thursday, taking the total number of fatalities and positive cases to 8,559 and 9,43,494, a health bulletin said.