Acute shortage of medicines at Basic Health Units (BHUs) under the Integrated Reproductive Maternal Neonatal & Child Health (IRMNCH) programme across the province has left poverty-stricken pregnant women in grave situation.Despite passage of six months, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led new government has failed in procuring large quantities of medicines to such BHUs. Owing to the situation, women have been forced to buy costly medicines from the medical stores or to get delivery from private hospitals.Sources in health department informed that in Punjab at least 1000 BHUs were provided with the facilities for pregnant women under Primary & Secondary Healthcare Department’s IRMNCH program which were mostly established in rural areas of the province. They said that such BHUs were operating 24 hours aiming to cater the needs of needy women. “These BHUs were running acute shortage of medicine for at least seven months which has made the situation vulnerable,” claimed the sources.They continued that, as such BHU have been established in the rural areas of the province and during delivery poor women have to buy medicine from the nearby medical stores at high price. They added that following the situation some grocery stores situated near the BHUs had started selling live saving drugs which making the situation more horrible. “Women have no other choice to procure the required medicine from such stores or to go to private hospitals operating near them,” they said.According to the documents available with Daily Times states that under this program a large quantity of different medicines worth of millions of rupees have to be procured in current fiscal year to be provided at BHUs. As per details, the concerned department had to procure injections Oxytocin 10 IU in quantity of 3.6 million, Diclofenac Sodium 75 mg, .72 million, tablets metronidazole 400mg, .65 million and mefenamic acid 500mg, .65 million.Moreover, other necessary items like cannula with injection ports and integrated cons, drip/I.V sets, chlorhexidine gel, cord clamps, disposable syringes, sterile surgical gloves, sterile gauze and others.IRMNCH program director Dr Mukhtar Hussain Syed while admitting the crisis being faced at BHUs owing to acute shortage of medicine, said that the caretaker government was responsible for the shortfall of medicine. Talking to Daily Times, he said, “Department had all set to procure a large quantity of medicine seven months ago but the caretaker government rolled back the procurement process.”Syed continued that all the district governments in province had been asked to cater the needs of BHUs with their local funding. However, he said that now the government was all set to procure and provide medicines at all BHUs, while this issue would be resolved in next 15 days. Published in Daily Times, February 10th 2019.