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Black fungus on the rise in Meerut division, drugs scarce

MEERUT Cases of black fungus are on the rise in different districts of Meerut division, even as efforts to ensure supply of injections for treatment of this disease appear inadequate
PUBLISHED ON MAY 29, 2021 12:34 AM IST

MEERUT Cases of black fungus are on the rise in different districts of Meerut division, even as efforts to ensure supply of injections for treatment of this disease appear inadequate.

Meerut division comprises Noida, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Bulandshahr, Hapur and Baghpat districts and so far 312 patients of black fungus have been admitted in Meerut, Noida and Ghaziabad districts.

Saharanpur division (Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar and Shamli) has also been pooled with Meerut division for treatment of black fungus. Therefore patients from these three districts are also referred to LLRM Medical College in Meerut where a special ward has been set up.

So far, 103 patients have been discharged after treatment while 22 died in the division. As many as 191 patients are undergoing treatment in hospitals of Noida, Meerut and Ghaziabad.

Out of these 312 cases, 166 were diagnosed and treated in LLRM Medical College and 13 in other private hospitals of Meerut. Of these, 52 patients were discharged while 14 succumbed during treatment and 100 patients are still under treatment out of which 76 are in Medical College and remaining 24 in other private hospitals.

Experts say that black fungus is a rare disease and it can be most effectively treated with Amphotericin-B injection. This injection is also not easily available and so there was an acute shortage after cases of black fungus exponentially increased.

The state government formulated a mechanism and made additional director of health nodal officer at divisional level for ensuring distribution of available injections as per demand from hospitals. But insufficient supply of these injections has turned the situation worrisome.

Dr Rajkumar, additional director, health, Meerut division, shared that his office received 280 vials of life saving Amphotericin- B injections. He made no bones in admitting shortage of injections and said

“We are trying to handle the situation with available vials”.

Amid shortage of the injections, hospitals need to send their requirement for injections to AD ( health) office, which distributes them Amphotericin- B injection as per availability.

Many patients of black fungus were treated in Anand Hospital here and a few are still under treatment. Director of the hospital Dr Subhash Yadav shared,

“We are facing acute shortage of the injection and now alternate medicines are being used to treat the patients”.

Dr Pradeep Kumar of Meerut kidney hospital has treated many patients of black fungus and three are still undergoing treatment. He reiterated that injection Amphotericin-B injection was the most effective, so it was prescribed for treatment of black fungus but was scarce now. He said that some patients even required 4 to 5 doses of the injection everyday, depending upon their condition. Dr Kumar said that medicine Posacinazole was being used as an alternative but it was also in short supply. He said that the hospital requested the attendants of a patient on Wednesday to shift him to some other hospital where the medicines were available. “ We sometime feel helpless,” he said and added that attendants of patients were also passing through a difficult time.

A farmer of Baghat area, Karanpal, is undergoing treatment for black fungus since May 14. His son Shailesh Kumar said that he received only two injections from the office of AD ( health) and were trying hard for more injections even from the open market but without luck. Shailesh, whose father has undergone surgery, explained, “ Surgery cures 40 per cent and medicines are required for cure of the remaining 60 per cent disease”. He said presently his father was being treated through alternate medicine, which they luckily purchased in good number in the middle of the month. Now these medicines are also not available in the market.

Shailesh said that attendants of almost every patient were facing difficulties in arranging injections and medicines to keep their family members alive.

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