ASIA/THAILAND - Hospitals on alert for the supply of drugs hampered by floods

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Bangkok (Agenzia Fides) - Hospitals in the capital of Thailand, Bangkok, are on alert for the supply of drugs that could be hampered by prolonged floods that are hitting the country. Local production and delivery of medical supplies have in fact been stopped. In a note of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that hospitals are in panick despite they have not yet run out of medicines. Official estimates on the time needed for the drainage of flooded areas vary from 10 days to weeks. According to the local Ministry of Health, the floods have disrupted the production of more than 10 393 registered medicines of over 10 industries in Bangkok and surrounding provinces. The main limitations are in the medications, there are many volunteers and nurses, but very few medicines. Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok is sending a mobile medical unit in one of the worst-affected provinces every day, 70km north of the capital, Ayutthaya. There is great need for aspirin, antibiotics and saline solutions. The distribution of drugs is penalized because of the many roads which are not accessible: 73 highways of 15 provinces are not accessible and 223 roads of 30 provinces are impassable. According to the FDA the pharmaceutical companies affected by the floods are producing less than 10% of drugs in the country, and the Ministry of Health has started to import medicines from Malaysia and Japan. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 03/11/2011)