Ghor residents protest lack of docs, drugs
Dozens of demonstrators gathered in front of the Department of Public Health in Ferozkoh, chanting full-throated slogans against the provincial authorities and ACTD for failing to provide proper health services.
The ACTD, an NGO, has been responsible for the delivery of healthcare for the last three years across the province, but the institute was accused of failing to keep its promise of providing services in the districts.
Several protesters claimed that district clinics were yet to be manned by professional doctors and medics. The health centres had long been without medicine, creating problems for the people, they claimed.
A resident of Dolina district, Mohammed said he had been visiting the town clinic, which had been without any doctor or medicine for the past 40 days.. "Patients are suffering as doctors are staying at home in the name of leave. The clinic medicine is sold in the market."
Mohammad Sharif, who belongs to Tolak district, complained: "We have long been faced with a shortage of doctors and medicine. Whatever drugs are supplied by the government to the clinic are sold to private pharmacies.”
The protesters said most of the district residents, deprived of economic resources, were forced to take their patients either to the provincial capital, neighbouring Herat, Kabul or even to Pakistan for medical treatment.
Sharif said: "We have seen many patients -- mostly women and children -- losing their lives due to the absence of doctors and medicine. We have complained to the authorities many times, but our calls have fallen on deaf ears.”
Governor Syed Anwar, meanwhile, hit out at ACTD for flouting its agreement with the Department of Public Health on delivering medical services in rural areas of Ghor. He confirmed receiving complaints about lack of medicines and doctors’ appointment on fake documents.
Director of Public Health Ghulam Nabi also acknowledged the problems. Pajhwok sought comments from the ACTD head but he was unwilling to talk on the issue.
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