Sharmili Mallick

The reported unavailability of drugs required for the treatment of mucormycosis fungal infection, also known as ‘black fungus’ at Veer Surendra Sai Institute Of Medical Sciences And Research (VIMSAR) in Burla of Sambalpur district has deprived treatment of the patients at the premier hospital in the western region of Odisha.

As per reports, at present there are four patients admitted at VIMSAR are suffering from black fungus. Two more patients have symptoms for mucormycosis fungal infection while their clinical examinations are underway.

The Odisha Government had earlier supplied 30 units of liposomal Amphotericin B, the primary drug used to treat the condition of black fungus. However, the stock of the drugs is over now resulting in the delay of treatment of the patients.

The Superintendent of VIMSAR, Dr Lalmohan Nayak said that arrangements are being done to procure the drugs for the treatment of the patients with the fungal infection.

"Among all the Covid-19 patients undergoing treatment at the hospital, four are confirmed cases of black fungus while reports of two other patients are awaited. We had earlier received 30 files of the drugs from the State Government but the stock is over now. More vials are on the way and we hope, it will reach the hospital soon," said Nayak.

At this crisis, an Assistant Professor at VIMSAR Shankar Ramchandani with his own efforts has procured the life-saving drugs from Mumbai by spending around Rs 1 lakh from his own packet.

"With the help of a friend, I procured Posaconazole syrup and tablets, the substitutes of Amphotericin-B injection, from Mumbai in the first phase by spending Rs 50,000. Later, as the injection could not reach the hospital, I again bought Posaconazole for Rs 40,000 for the second time," informed Ramchandani.

Earlier on May 30 during a visit the Covid-19 hospitals of VIMSAR, the State Health Minister Naba Kishore Das had informed that the Centre had sent 100 vials of Amphotericin-B and arragements are being made to procure more of the life -saving drugs.

"The Centre had sent only100 vials of Amphotericin-B injection to Odisha. Out of those, 30 units were sent to VIMSAR," the Health Minister had said.

(Edited By Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)