Sonepur: With about Rs 5,000 needed per person every month for dialysis and medicine, many kidney patients from Patrapali village under Mundaghat panchayat in Ulunda block of Subarnapur district have been forced to sell landed properties to meet treatment expenses.
Allegedly, at times, poor people face death in want of money and in the absence of affordable treatment facility as well as medicine.
“We return empty-handed from the hospital as prescribed medicines for kidney ailments are not available at Niramaya center most of the times. The district administration does not address our issues if brought to its knowledge,” a kidney patient from Patrapali said.
Gopal Chandra Panigrahi, a 28-year-old youth from Patrapali village, was suffering from kidney ailments. His father Basant had to sell the limited landed property he possessed as he had to take his son outside the district for treatment. Unfortunately, Gopal died young while undergoing treatment at a private health facility in March 2021.
Abhiram Pradhan (45) from Butukhaman village under Sangrampur panchayat in Biramaharajpur block suffers from kidney-related ailments. He had to sell two acres of his landed property to meet the treatment expenses.
A resident of Daladaba village under Ulunda block Gariba Nag said, “I am a kidney patient. I was getting government-supplied medicines from Subarnapur district headquarters hospital (DHH) every month. The prescribed medicines are not available at the DHH for the last five months. Medicines for acidity alone are being dispensed. Presently, I am spending around Rs 5,000 for my medicines.”
Meanwhile, Nag has requested the state government to provide him free medicines under Niramaya scheme.
When contacted, epidemiologist of the DHH Dr Bishnu Charan Majhi said, “Subarnapur has been tied up with Boudh for providing free dialysis facility to kidney patients, which is causing issues. Moreover, the usually prescribed medicine Taurine is not availble here. Odisha State Medical Corporation (OSMC) has to provide us with the medicine for us to be able to dispense it under the Niramaya scheme.”
Notably, a dialysis centre has not been set up for kidney patients in Subarnapur district yet. Local Niramaya centre under the block has failed for the last five months in dispensing free medicines provided by the state government to people suffering from kidney ailments.
Subarnapur district has more than 400 kidney patients in Mayurudan, Arjunpur, Pratappur, Rugudipali and Kirtipur villages under Sonepur block, in Ghandapali, Amarpali, Gaudagada, Bahalpadar, Kadalipali, Kenjhiriapali and Dadarpali villages under Biramaharajpur block and in Daladaba, Jharbahali and Sunapali villages under Ulunda block.
The kidney patients from well-to-do families manage to get themselves treated in towns and cities like Burla, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. However, the poor are left in the lurch.
Impure drinking water available in rural areas give rise to kidney-related ailments as samples are not tested on a regular basis, a local man said.