Dispensing hope with free medication to the poor since ‘97

- Dipak Bayalkoti, Kathmandu

Jun 9, 2014-

Krishna Pandey, 47, is suffering from chronic diseases—high blood pressure and diabetes. Moreover, his right leg was amputated in 2001 due to cancer.

With earnings from selling lock-keys in the streets of Kathmandu, Pandey—the sole breadwinner for his family of six—had to sell his property in Dolakha to pay for his medical bills running into tens of thousands of rupees.

Fortunately, a Bir Hospital-based charity pharmacy, Christine Dispensary, has been providing him with free medicines since he lost his leg 13 years ago. “I only buy a few medicines by myself which are not available in the dispensary,” he said.

Pandey is not the lone beneficiary. The dispensary has been providing free medicines to the poor and needy patients at government hospitals on the recommendation of their doctors. The dispensary provides medicines ranging from antibiotics to life-saving drugs, worth over Rs 3 million every year. About 35,000 patients benefit from the charity annually, according to Nara Bahadur Shrestha, the chief pharmacist at the dispensary.

The needy patients are required to apply with a recommendation letter from a government hospital for free medicines, he said. “We provide them medicines based on their financial conditions. In some cases, the dispensary even provides travel costs for patients from remote districts.”

The dispensary, run in collaboration with German-Nepalese Help Association (GNHA), has been providing free medicines to patients suffering from heart, diabetes, kidney ailments, high blood pressure and gastritis since its establishment in 1997. The founding chairman of the dispensary Christine Reuter, a nursing student then, used to volunteer at the Bir Hospital in the mid-1900s.

The director at Bir Hospital lauded the commendable assistance. “It is an exemplary charitable work,” said Bulanda Thapa.

Published: 10-06-2014 10:37

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