By Rishi Iyengar
November 11, 2015

The landlocked mountain nation of Nepal is now on the verge of running out of medicines for its hospitals, because protesters have been blockading its border with India for nearly two months.

Medical institutions, like the country’s largest public hospital, in the capital city Kathmandu, could run out of key supplies within a week, CNN reports.

“We are running critically low on drugs used in the emergency, ICU and operation theater,” said Dr. Swayam Prakash Pandit, director of Kathmandu’s Bir Hospital. Pandit said the hospital is also increasingly relying on firewood to cook food for patients because of the widespread fuel crisis brought about by the blockade.

Nepal accuses India of fomenting unrest and tacitly supporting border protests by ethnic minorities, which began in mid-September following the adoption of Nepal’s new constitution. Protesters led by the Indian-origin Madhesi group, which India strongly denies backing, say the constitution excludes them and their interests.

Write to Rishi Iyengar at rishi.iyengar@timeasia.com.

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