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Pain in Iran: Alarming Anaesthetics Shortage

Firoozeh Mozafari's cartoon for Iranian news website khabaronline, Translation of the words: [Doctor to Patient]: “Sir, please cooperate and get unconscious. We need to do our job!”

Firoozeh Mozafari’s cartoon for Iranian news website khabaronline, Translation of the words: [Doctor to Patient]: “Sir, please cooperate and get unconscious. We need to do our job!”

Panic struck in Iranian hospitals as the country’s medical officials confirmed a serious national shortage of anaesthetics on March 15, 2013 hindering life-saving operations on patients in Iran.

Kheirollah Gholami, a pharmacist in Tehran, has been widely quoted as saying, “If the situation stays like this, we don’t really know what to do. Patients cannot be knocked unconscious with a hammer.

iran cartoon

Cartoon by Mana Neyestani. Translation from right to left 1) “The aesthetician is doing his best…” 2) “Once upon a time, there was a lion that lived in a jungle…” 3) [the patient] “Damn you with your sanctions!” — [Newspaper caption] “Head of Anesthetics Association: “Anesthetics have become rare.”

Iranian netizens and bloggers have reacted. Mana Neyestani, a renowned dissident cartoonist has created the following for Mardomak website:

Iranian blogger, Dara, slams the Islamic Republic for having failed people in every possible way: Operating rooms in some hospitals across the country have been closed due to the shortage of anaesthetics, fake penicillin imported from China claims the lives of our compatriots, the American dollar value is still at a whopping 35,000 rials and high prices strain people to an extent that it seems this [Nowruz] new year’s shopping will be among the dullest in recent years. And at such times, some still talk of participating in elections. Seriously, what do you expect us to elect while all has already been taken care of by the Leader? […] Whom should I vote for when I cannot even receive anesthetic in the operating room?

Mohsen Sazgara tweeted: ‘According to a high ranking official in the medical faculty of the University of Tehran, if this situation continues, we will be forced to shut down operation rooms’.

By Hooman Askary  for Global Voices Online
9 April 2013

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