Kashmir Indepth

Covid-19 pandemic apart, Kashmir’s other ailing lot left in lurch

Arjumand Shah

Srinagar, Mar 29 (KINS): At a time when pandemic Covid-19 is tightening its grip on the people of Kashmir with fresh cases showing a sudden spurt, Valley’s other ailing lot is baring the maximum brunt in absence of Out Patients Department (OPDs) in the major hospitals.

Scores of patients told this Kashmir Indepth News (KINS) reporter that since OPD’s in major Valley hospitals that include SMHS, SKIMS, Soura, JVC Bemina hospital stand closed, they are facing immense health issues as they are not able to get in touch with the doctors treating them.

“I am a diabetic patient and after every two months, I have to see a doctor at SMHS hospital. First thing is that public transport is off the roads given the pandemic Covid-19 and I am not able to reach the hospital,” Shameema, a resident of Pampore told KINS.

“If I manage somehow to reach SMHS, I was told there is OPD and doctors who would otherwise see her in OPD, are not available. Due to stress triggered by the Covid-19, my sugar level has touched above 300, and I am not able to see my doctor. I am also at the risk of dying a slow death at since I am confined to home.”

In the wake of closure of OPDs in hospitals across the valley that are crucial in providing basic treatment, the patients are swaying between the devil and the deep sea and are in immense distress.

Patients suffering from cancer, kidney ailments, diabetes, asthma, are being affected adversely and are confined to their own homes given the strict lockdown enforced by the government in the wake of fast outbreak of Covid-19 that has already claimed two lives in Kashmir while as positive cases have risen up to 38 in J&K.

Covid-19 has forced the doctors to close their private clinics which have added exorbitantly to the miseries of the ailing people. According to sources, the current scenario of our hospitals is hampering the chemo and radio therapy of cancer patients and dialysis of kidney patients.

An asthma patient from Srinagar told KINS, “I’m not getting access to my doctor (Dr Naveed Shah). My condition is worsening day by day.” Another patient said, “I’m suffering from advanced stage of type 2 diabetes which requires regular monitoring and frequent consultations of a doctor. However, present situation doesn’t let me to consult my doctor.” 

As per doctors Kashmir’s 40 per cent population is diabetic and cancer cases too have shown a spurt since past few years.  “Closure of OPDs, private clinics by the doctors has added to our pain. Government is not bothered about us at all. There should have been a separate mechanism for diabetic and cancer patients,” said Hanifa, a resident of Bemina, who was operated for breast cancer last year.(KINS)

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