Mumbai(dna): Over a thousand cartons lie neatly stacked at the headquarters of the state Food and Drug Administration (FDA) department at Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai. Up to 1100 boxes of drugs and medical equipment will be sent to Nepal from the FDA office in Maharashtra, this week.
"At the state FDA department, we have appealed to pharmaceutical companies and wholesalers to donate drugs and medical equipment for relief work to be carried out in Nepal," said Nilesh Gandhi, officer on special duty (OSD), FDA. "Any one wanting to donate drugs and medical equipment should contact the FDA office in BKC for further co-ordination. We are asking the donors to hold stock at the moment, until the first consignment is released on Tuesday."
Maharashtra FDA had similarly chipped in by providing medical relief previously during earthquake in Latur, floods in Jammu and Kashmir and Tsunami that struck the South India coast. The cost of fifteen tonnes worth medicines, drugs, surgical equipment and injections runs up to Rs ten lakhs currently. "Cartons have arrived from manufacturing companies in Aurangabad, Nasik, Nagpur and Thane. We are in touch with the Government of Nepal to have the drugs transported to the ravaged areas. Many more pharma companies from Delhi and Maharashtra are approaching us, and so we have stated the list of medicines that should be accumulated and stocked. We will let the donor drug companies and wholesalers know when to release them to FDA office," said Gandhi.
While teams of doctors from close to eighty international medical agencies are operational in Nepal and deployed in various regions for conducting rescue work, what the Nepalese Government direly needs at the moment is medical equipment.
Dr Mridul Deka from Doctors For You, a Mumbai-based NGO said, "There is an acute shortage of water disinfectants and vaccines. The conditions are filthy with barely any sanitation facilities available. Children defecate in open. Adults access mobile toilets. Bouts of Viral Diarrhoea and Fever are breaking due to poor sanitation facilities. The unseasonal rains are making the conditions worse. We also fears measles disease outbreaks due to shortage of vaccines."
The stock of medicines being sent by the FDA include water purifying agents like Sodium Hypochlorite and up to 25,000 doses of tetanus vaccine. "We are also sending antibiotics, analgesics, anti-diarrheal drugs and injections. Surgical gloves, bandages, absorbent cotton and Plaster of Paris materialfor fracture casts are in the list. Orthopaedic implants like metal screws, plates and rods are also being sent," said Gandhi. "While the vaccines will be transported through air, rest of the voluminous cartons will be sent through the land or railway."
Companies and individuals interested in donating medical equipment and drugs for Nepal quake relief can write to – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nepal earthquake relief
$415 million needed for humanitarian relief
3 million people in need of food aid
130,000 houses destroyed
24,000 people living in makeshift camps
20 teams working to reunite lost children with their families