The Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) is demanding a statement from the government on the reported shortage of Anti-retroviral medicine (ARVs) in the country.
And CCZ has appealed to donors who are withholding funds for the health sector to reconsider their stand.
CCZ says it has received several complaints about the rationing of ARVs from its members who are taking the medicine
Said CCZ general secretary Suzanne Matale: “this rationing is as a result of the apparent critical short supply of ARVS in the country. We have been informed by our members who are on our HIV and AIDS programmes that people who are on anti retroviral therapy (ART) are now being given 2 weeks supply of ARVs instead of their usual 3 months’ supply.
Reverend Matale said this is causing panic and fear among those that depend on the drugs to live.
“The Council is therefore calling for a comprehensive statement from the Ministry of Health and Government on the true picture of the supply of ARVS in the country to include an explanation as to why the country is experiencing these shortages when the government knows how much drug supply the country requires,” she said.
Matale demanded that a concrete time frame should be given as to when the supplies will be normalized. She said People must be adequately informed and adequately prepared for eventualities.
“The Council is also making a passionate request to our funding partners, especially those who are withholding funds, to seriously consider releasing funds for ARVs so as to avert the impending loss of lives in Zambia,” said Mmatale adding that this is a matter of live and death.