islamabad - The sale of spurious and unregistered drugs goes on unchecked in the federal capital owing to shortage of drug inspectors.

According to the sources, there is only one drug inspector in the federal capital to keep an eye on over 700 medical stores.

The drug inspector is also duty-bound to monitor the city’s nine big government and private hospitals and check the sale of spurious and unregistered drugs.

The sources have revealed that the finance division had turned down the request of health ministry for appointment of five more drug inspectors. Moreover it was learnt that the strength of drug inspectors has not been increased since long. Due to lack of drug inspectors, hardly a few medical stores have been sealed for selling spurious or unregistered drugs in recent past. When Online contacted Health Minister Saira Afzal Tarar, she stated that the ministry had conducted NTS test for the selection of five drug inspectors. “Let’s see when the appointment process of these drug inspectors completes,” she added. On the other hand, the sources revealed that a file had been forwarded to the finance division for the appointment of drugs inspects but division had totally refused to entertain the request owing to the lack of allocated funds in the budget.

When Online contacted the only drug inspector Basher, he said that presently he is travelling a lot to inspect spurious and unregistered drugs. However, he added that authority takes quick action whenever it receives a compliant.

On the other hand, a number of unregistered medical and herbal stores in the federal capital continue to sell unregistered and spurious drugs. According to medical experts, unregistered drugs can cause various diseases related to heart, kidney and liver, besides other serious health implications.

Meanwhile, the health ministry is engaged in preparing an action plan on reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health. The plan will consolidate and accelerate progress for achieving targets of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) by end of this year. The action plan is being prepared under directives of Prime Minister Sharif as the authorities concerned are fully cognizant of the fact and have taken some steps to address high mortality rates. Highlighting the steps, sources in the ministry on Sunday said basic health units are being facilitated that has brought down both maternal and neonatal death rates. The sources revealed that Expanded Programme for Immunization (EPI) is being implemented throughout the country in which children are vaccinated against nine vaccine preventable diseases while a programme is continuing in provinces after devolution with focus on maternal, newborn and child health in the country.

National Programme for Family Planning and Primary Healthcare through its network of 96,000 community based lady health workers has a substantial impact on uptake of important primary health services which include a large and positive impact on childhood vaccination rates, and lower rates of childhood diarrhoea and pneumonia.

Regarding nutrition, the sources said a life-cycle approach has been adopted to recognize importance of optimal nutrition for women in order to minimise the risks associated with malnutrition. Securing good nutritional status of women across the life course will in the long-term reduce child underweight, they added.