Maraldini, Antargange, Banaklal and many other villages in Maski taluk in Raichur district have no pharmacies nearby. Residents have to travel long distances to get medicine and first aid.
Residents of the villages informed The Observer that there are local shops that sell tablets for cold and cough. They have to travel to Maski town to get medicines. During emergencies, travel to Maski is risky.
The Observer witnessed that PHCs and clinics in Maski and nearby villages lack of medicines. A resident who had severe back pain had to wait till a person got the prescribed medicine from the town.
Villages in the taluk have very poor transportation. Buses make just a couple of trips to the town.
Suresh, a health inspector at Antargange, said: “We keep some basic medicines in clinics. But we cannot store a lot. Therefore, a pharmacy is important. People might fall ill anytime. Every time it is not possible for someone to go to the town to get medication. It is often a matter of life and death.”
Ambarish, a member of the zilla panchayat who looks after 52 villages, said: “We are aware of the problem and are trying to resolve it. We plan to have at least one pharmacy for two villages.”
Dr Edmond Fernandes, CEO of the CHD Group, informed The Observer: “A pharmacy should have all the basic facilities which include refrigerator, lockable cabinets.
Apart from this, a medicine store should have all medicines under the National List of Essential Medicines. Understanding the local prescribing patterns is also necessary for a pharmacy. Having at least one pharmacy with all these facilities is necessary.”
The villagers complained that the panchayat has taken no action though it was informed several times.
According to an article in The Economic Times, the penetration of pharma companies in villages with a population less than 10,000 is limited: their presence is largely restricted to selling acute therapy products: medicines for common or short-term ailments.
“We have to travel to a long distance to the city for medicines. There are no pharmacies in our village and nearby villages. Sometimes it becomes very difficult to get basic medicines,” said Mahantamma, a resident of Antargange.