Biggest blow to health care service: heavily subsidized Hepatitis vaccination arbitrarily stopped in the state's hospitals without any rhyme or reason

By Our Correspondent

Agartala September 11 ,2019 : In the worst possible blow to the state's health care service the health department has put a ban on Tripura’s most celebrated and highly acclaimed NGO , Hepatitis-B Foundation of Tripura (HFT)'s heavily subsidized vaccination service from  35 hospitals across the state every Sunday. The entire service is now stalled and umpteen number of children who have taken first round of vaccination will never get the chance of taking  in second round as part of the drawn-out and mandatory vaccination programme. 

The secretary of the HFT and state's renowned journalist Dibakar Debnath said that the health department had started non co-operation with the Foundation and when this was pointed out to the health department authority , they asked the HFT to wind up all its works as the health department would do it on their own. Dibakar said that the HFT had been launched way back in the year 2003 as an NGO to provide heavily subsidized Hepatitis vaccination service to children under the leadership of reputed Dr Pradip Bhowmik. Very soon the life-member ship comprising doctors, health workers , social activists , volunteers and medical representatives rose to 1400 till the last count. 'We never took any fund from the state or central government  but ran the organization on our regular contributions ; we had also obtained permission from the previous government before introducing the service and then our service gradually expanded to altogether 35 hospitals, PHCs and dispensaries all over the states and even in clubs at the invitation of the people on every Sunday'said Dibakar Debnath.

He said that the HFT had to purchase vaccines at the rate of Rs 165 each but would realize a contribution of only Rs 30 from each patient whereas in private hospitals and nursing homes such vaccines cost Rs 500 each. 'So far we have vaccinated more than 5 lakh children at this nominal cost , purchasing and collecting vaccines from pharmaceutical firms and even our medical representative members ; the main trouble is that Hepatitis vaccination programme is a drawn-out process because children have to take vaccination as per a drawn out schedule at regular intervals and the ban on our service will deprive the children who have taken the first vaccination and now will find it difficult to take the second or third one at the mandatory interval' said a crestfallen Dibakar Debnath.

Apart from this, the HFT have also earned kudos from various countries including Bangladesh , USA and the world body of international alliance of Hepatitis. 'To be a member of the prestigious international alliance one has to be a Hepatitis-B patient himself ; our member Dr Satyajit Ghosh who himself is a Hepatitis patient had become a member and had also been elected office-bearer ; but now all this is coming to nought without any rhyme or reason' said Dibakar. He did not mean to blame anybody but hinted that a outsourced individual playing the key role in running the health department now might have done the mischief because of meanness and envy.  


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