PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): Pajhwok’s findings show that 30 pharmacies and four health centers in Baghlan province have been operating without license due to collusion between former health officials and the owners of these pharmacies and health centers.
The pharmacies and health centers that have been operating in Baghlan over the past few years have been named by Pajhwok in this report and the views of current and former officials have also been taken.
According to a document provided to Pajhwok by the Baghlan Public Health Department, 30 pharmacies and four health centers are operating in and around Pul-e-Khumri without any official license.
According to Pajhwok’s findings, Sulaiman Layek, Khushnood, Ahmadzai, Walid and Ehsan pharmacies are operating in Pul-e-Khumri’s Karkar area without a license. The findings suggest that another pharmacy operates anonymously in the Karkar area.
Also, the pharmacies of Dr. Gul Ahmad, Dr. Noordad and Amanullah are operating without a license in the Qul Hammam Nisaji area.
New Faisal in Ziratpa Radar area and Samiullah Pharmacy in Broqa area also do not have operating licenses. There are also unlicensed pharmacies in Qeshlaq Bamba area namely Kandahar, Dawood, Maiwand and Asif Naseer.
According to Pajhwok, another pharmacy was operating in the Qeshlaq Bamba area without a name or license. Milad, Bilal and Shakuri pharmacies are also operating in Shashad Koti area without any license. Another pharmacy operates anonymously in the area.
Zainuddin, Ibrahimi, Ittefaq and another pharmacy are also operating in the Chap Darya area. Hamdard in Qala-e-Palang area and other and Ikhlas pharmacies in No. 2 area are operating illegally. In the district road area, Kosha pharmacy is operating without a license.
Bahir Pharmacy in Silo area and Ehsan Pharmacy in Masjid Gonbadi area are also operating without license. There are also four unlicensed clinics in Baghlan – Mohammad Haroon Clinic, Shamshad Omar Hospital, Sehat Shahr Clinic and Khidmat Clinic.
Some of the owners of these health centers have confirmed that they do not have a license to operate
Abdullah, the owner of an unlicensed pharmacy named Ehsan, told Pajhwok Afghan News that he did not have a health education degree and his financial situation was bad, so he had not obtained a license to operate.
He added that now that the government has paid more attention to the issue, he also wants to get a license for his pharmacy.
Mohammad Shakir Zaheri, head of Shamshad Omar Clinic, told Pajhwok Afghan News he had submitted all his documents to the Ministry of Public Health for a license, but the ministry had not yet taken any practical steps.
Government officials confirm the operation of unlicensed health centers in Baghlan
Qari Khalid Hijran, director of public health in Baghlan, confirmed the operation of unlicensed health centers in the province and said that they were trying to identify unlicensed pharmacies and health centers.
He said most of the unlicensed pharmacies had been closed and he had informed the Ministry of Health about the fate of those health centers which did not have licenses and was awaiting order of the ministry.
Qari Khalid said that most of the unlicensed pharmacies were located in remote districts of the province which were not identified due to security problems during the previous government but according to him they have started efforts in this regard.
Qari Khalid added: “The main reason for not closing these pharmacies in the previous government was corruption and the presence of middlemen, due to which these pharmacies have not been closed.”
Maulvi Asadullah Mustafa Hashimi, director of information and culture in Baghlan, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the operation of pharmacies and hospitals without a license was also the handiwork of former corrupt officials but now they would be dealt with legally.
On the other hand, Dr. Malang Shah, head of pharmacies at the Baghlan Public Health Department, who also held the post in the previous government, told Pajhwok Afghan News that he had repeatedly asked the governor’s office to close unlicensed pharmacies, but they took no action.
Asif Rahmani, a doctor in Baghlan province, said that the operation of unlicensed hospitals and pharmacies should be stopped. He said self-medication could endanger a person’s life.
Dozens of health centers in Baghlan are currently operating without a license. The law on health in Afghanistan, which was approved and signed 15 years ago, states in Article 9 that those allowed to operate in the medical field should have certificate of qualification and should obtain a license to operate from the Ministry of Public Health.