ARVs used to ‘fatten’ chickens, ferment Kachasu gin in Malawi

That mouth-watering piece of chicken that you routinely devour at your local restaurant or house could be laced with Anti-Retroviral (ARV) drugs, which are meant to slow down the dreaded HIV virus, according to published report.

Vendors in Malawi are selling the life prolonging   ARVs in order to use the scarce drug to ferment maize husks in the brewing process of a traditional gin – Kachasu as well as fatten poultry products such as Chickens.

Some brewers claim the gin from the fermented ARV maize husk is very strong and matures quickly.

ARVs used for fattening chickens in Thyolo and Mulanje
ARVs used for fattening chickens in Thyolo and Mulanje

The appalling revelations are contained in a Malawi’s Weekend Nation newspaper report.

The commercial broiler farmers are adding ARVs to broiler feed to enhance weight gain and are able to sell off at four weeks.

The notion that chicken will fatten after being fed on ARVs, as is often the case with humans, is a pointer that the farmers are merely transferring observations made with the humans in an attempt to boost the productivity in the chicken

According to the paper one battle is selling US$ 8.4(K3, 500) and the business is hot is the Southern districts of Thyolo and Mulanje.

Currently Malawi is struggling to sustain and increase its patients to be on the life prolonging drugs due to financial resources.

Just recently, the Malawi major donor to the National Aids Commission, the Global Fund, demanded back US$1,125,000 (K450 Million) because the Malawi Government failed to account for the money.

Malawi Watch Executive Director, Billy Banda, accuses government of lacking interest in dealing with drug pilferage.

Banda says government needs to make deliberate policy to remunerate pharmacists who divert drugs for sale.

Malawi Hospitals are always filled by poor people while the rich people go in private hospitals.

Recently, Malawi Network of People living with HIV and Aids and its affiliate members petitioned Government to address shortage of ARVs in Phalombe District.

Manet Plus Executive Director, Bright Kampaundi said the situation in Phalombe was at a critical stage where the patients were even sharing a one month three bottle dosage for two patients.

Currently estimates of 300,000 HIV and Aids positive people are on ARV treatment.

Many people asked by Nyasa Times called on government to “seal loopholes” in medical stores where drugs are being stolen.

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