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Devbrat Patnaik

Bolangir: While the State government continues to boast about its public healthcare services, reports of distribution of expired medicines in Bolangir have raised many eyebrows on the government's tall claims.

As per sources, locals in Saintala block here alleged that they were supplied with expired deworming medicines at several schools by the district health department. Even though the medicines mentioned July 2019 as the expiry date, they were reportedly distributed by Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) and Asha worker a month later in August.

"The deworming medicine bottle was given to me by local Asha worker for my 4-year-old granddaughter. At least, they should have checked the expiry dates before distributing to public. The health department is only playing with the lives of children. A serious investigation should be launched and people should remain more cautious about the expiry dates while consuming any such medicine," said the complainant.

The CDMO however claimed that use of medicines within one month of expiry is safe for use. "I came to know about this last night. As per rules, Albendazole medicines are not allowed to be distributed at homes. Knowingly or unknowingly, the Asha worker might have taken the medicines from Anganwadi centre and distributed them at homes," she said.

"These medicines were supplied to Saintala CHC on February 5, 2018 and post that supply, almost three-round distribution is over. We will have to see how many expired medicines are left. The power of these medicines might reduce after expiry but they do not have any side effects," clarified the CDMO.

Meanwhile, health department informed that a four-member team led by Saintala Medical Officer has been formed to probe the matter.

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