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Last updated at 15:28 GMT, Friday, 16 November 2012

Iran's approaching medical crisis

Summary

16 November 2012

Iran says its medical supplies are due to run out in two months’ time. The Iranian authorities say drug prices have gone up by 350% since this time last year. Western imposed sanctions on Iran have affected the lives of those who live there.

Reporter:

Karen Zarindast

Pharmacy in Iran

Iran is swiftly running out of medicines.

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Report

Manuchehr was only 15. He was a haemophiliac who lived with his family among nomadic tribes outside the city of Dezful in the south. Earlier this week he was out with his friends for a walk when he hurt himself falling. His friends rushed him back home for urgent medication, but there were no drugs left. His parents couldn't afford to pay for his prescriptions. He died on the way to the hospital.

As a result of his death, the authorities have for the first time said on the record that Iran is on the verge of a medical disaster. Ninety crucial drugs are in short supply, among them medication for cancer, diabetes and haemophilia.

The Iranian currency, the rial, has reportedly lost 80% of its value since the end of last year. It is thought that Iran lost $32bn in oil revenues in 2011. Dollar reserves are running out and even though some sanctions were eased in October to allow in some drugs, the currency crisis has made it near impossible for Iran to buy them.

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Vocabulary

haemophiliac

a person who suffers from haemophilia, a blood disease which means the blood does not stop flowing after a cut

nomadic tribes

groups of people who move from one place to another rather than living in one place

prescriptions

pieces of paper on which a doctor writes which medicines a patient requires

on the record

in public (used to describe a statement: something that is said on the record is said in public)

on the verge of

very close to happening

diabetes

a disease in which the body cannot effectively control the level of sugar in the blood

sanctions

an official order to stop a country doing something (such as trade) to make it obey international law

eased

became less severe

near

nearly

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