Government orders ARVs rationing

In a bid to address the shortage of anti retroviral (ARV) drugs in the country, the PF government has ordered distributors of the life saving drugs in clinics to reduce the supply from the normal three months to one month supply to patients.

Health minister Dr. Joseph Kasonde told journalists yesterday after launching the first ever external relations strategy (ERS) of the ministry of health that the delay in the supply of anti retroviral therapy would take about three months before the drugs are distributed countrywide for normal supply to resume.

“Whoever is distributing drugs has got to be very careful that they do not give too much to one person, two to three months is what it takes for drugs to be spread around the country, it will be over a period of three months before we can get back to the normal drug supply,” cautioned the minister.

Last week a parliamentary committee on health on a tour of Western province discovered that most centres were hit with a shortage of Nevirapine, the ARV drug which is also given to pregnant women and after the watchdog exposure, government refuted the shortage story and insisted that there was normal and steady supply of the life saving drug.

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