Hyderabad: Medical experts mooted a pick and drop centre to create a medicine donation culture in the state. With no official distribution centre to donate medicines, the city falls short on free medicines that could be availed by many.
Medicines such as eye drops, cough syrup, burn ointments and pain killers are generally hoarded and thrown away, said doctors.
However, the habit of hoarding these medicines and not even looking at their expiry date is even more worrying.
Lack of awareness on medicine donation is a major reason for the dearth of distribution centres. Dr Sai Sreenath Kumar, said, “There is a general apathy towards the issue. Lack of sensitivity can be seen when people give expired medicines to the homeless and the poor. However, there are a few people who visit orphanages and old age homes to donate medicines.”
Most medical shop owners are hesitant to take back the sold medicines because it is generally not the norm followed by them. Most NGOs in the city do not specialise in medical treatment and many provide medicines with the help of their sponsors.
Rogi Sahayatha Trust is associated with Osmania and King Koti hospitals to donate medicines on a large scale.
B. Nagender, superintendent of OGH, said, “People are welcome to come to our hospital and drop off usable medicines within the expiry date. It is time for a medicine donation centre in Telangana and OGH will definitely co-operate.”
“The trust sometimes buys costly medicines from its pocket. With more awareness about medicine donation, we can have a separate distribution centre,” said Nagender.
81-yr-old baba gathers, gives medicines for free
Omkar Nath Sharma, known as Medicine Baba, turned 81 this year, yet his quest for ensuring medicines for the needy has not diminished.
The Baba’s mission began when he witnessed the problems faced by rural people to get medicines after the collapse of the Delhi Metro bridge in 2008 in East Delhi.
Speaking to the Deccan Chronicle, Omkar Nath said, “Ever since that day, I have not been able not spend even one day without collecting medicines. Initially I faced a lot of ridicule for asking people for medicines door-to-door. But I still did so, at least ten kilometres per day.”
From a humble beginning, Baba today is given costly and life-saving medicines.
“It was a happy day when we began to receive medical equipment such as wheelchairs, nebulisers and walkers, I realised the difference we were making. We get courier parcels from Australia and Dubai,” added Omkar Nath.
Nearly `4 crore worth of medicines are donated to the Medicine Baba trust which was set up two years ago. With two distribution centres in Delhi, a third one will be set up in Faridabad. The medicines and equipment are provided free of cost and it is mostly daily wage labourers who avail these services.