A group of students of Jahangirnagar University (JU) burnt a stack of medicines in front of the university medical centre on Friday night.
They alleged that the medical centre had been providing the damaged and date-expired medicines to the students for long. The university high officials brought the situation under control by assuring the students of taking measures in this regard.
Some students of Al-Beruni Hall came to the medical centre around 10:00pm for taking treatment. After receiving prescribed medicines from the centre, they found some of them were either damaged or date-expired, said witnesses, adding that the students had then demonstrated, collected medicines form the storeroom and set those on fire.
Mohit Alam of public administration department said providing date-expired and damaged medicines to the students had been going on for long, but the authorities turned a blind eye to the practice.
In addition, the medical centre does not have all the medicines; therefore, students have to buy the costly medicines from outside, said Md Didar, a fourth-year student of geography and environment department.
The lone JU medical centre is facing various problems due to negligence of the authorities and inadequate fund, claimed the demonstrators.
Talking to The Daily Star, Sultan Ahmad, a technical officer (medicine) of the JU medical centre, said, “Around 200 people including students, teachers and staff collect medicine from the centre every day. Around 32 types of medicines are available in the centre.”
On condition of anonymity, an employee of the centre said the authorities buy poor quality medicines from some enlisted companies.
Asked about the poor quality medicines, Enamur Rashid Litu, a doctor of the medical centre, said, "It is the responsibility of the authorities what type of medicines they would provide to the students. We just prescribe the medicine."
Contacted, Dr Mozeza Zohura, acting chief medical officer, said, "We have no date-expired medicines; as the existing storeroom is old, some medicines might have been damaged due to fluctuating temperature.”
Meanwhile, as per the direction of JU Vice-Chancellor Prof Farzana Islam, Pro-VC (administration) Prof Amir Hussain yesterday met the medical centre officials. As per the decision of the meeting, the university authorities would withdraw all the existing medicines of the centre and buy medicines from the reputed pharmaceutical companies soon. A new medicine storeroom will be built also. Prof Amir confirmed it to The Daily Star.