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Jun 8, 2018

Oxfam’s campaign on Access to Affordable Essential Medicines

Naureen Khan and Health Campaign Team, Oxfam India

As part of Oxfam’s Access to Affordable Essential Medicine campaign in Odisha, Oxfam India hosted few media events with KANAK media and shared the campaign demands through a panel discussion to the government and general public in the state through a live show.  

As the Nimaraya-Free medicine scheme had completed three years, the Essential drug list of 570 drugs/medicines was neither revised nor upgraded. Only 87 medicines were made available to Public Health Centres (PHC) where the majority  population of Odisha seeks health services. 

In order to reach more people in the state, the government committed to open 1102 Drug De-addiction Centers (DDC) but the government had established only 495 DDCs up to Community Health Centre Level. In terms of budget, the state did not allocate adequate fund for the implementation of the free medicine as per the current need of the state. Keeping this in mind, Oxfam India presented the following demands in media:

1) In order to increase the accessibility, state needs to increase the budget on availablity and affordablity on medicine.
2) Ensure all Essential Drugs are timely procured and supplied to the government health centres and remote areas of the states.   
3) Establish the DDCs as per the commitment thus the state must open 507 more DDCs at utmost priority.
4) Ensure increment and availability of all 570 drugs at PHCs as currently only 87 medicines are available
5) Establish the monitoring team to monitor the supply and distribution of free medicines in Public Hospitals.
6) Update the utilization of medicine in EMIS and ensure uploading the data in public domain.

Watch the panel discussion on Oxfam’s Health Campaign on Access to Affordable Essential Medicines 

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