Hundreds of people living with HIV/AIDS in Kamphata area in Lilongwe, failed to access the life prolonging drug, ARV, last month as clinic officials sent them away to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), saying they did not have the drug.
Only 45 patients received the ARVs out of 500 patients on the list of patients receiving the drug at the Clinic.
Speaking in an interview recently some patients at Kamphata Clinic, portrayed the picture that the Ministry of Health is generally facing problems in making drugs available to patients.
A staff member at the clinic who didn’t want to be named for fear of reprisals confirmed that most of the ant-biotics were not available.
Ironically the drug shortage is happening at a time when revelations have come out that undeserving organizations are benefiting from the donor funded organization, National Aids Commission (NAC) which is supports HIV/AIDS programs.
The patients most of whom cannot afford the luxury of travelling to KCH either because they are too weak with the ailment or lack of transport money or both, say they are disappointed and demoralized and worried with the situation which has given them hopelessness of their survival.
“It is only LA (Malaria drug) which people are getting here otherwise we are being advised to go to the Kamuzu Central Hospital or buy from private pharmacies,” lamented Yohane Banda who came for treatment at Kamphata Clinic.
However, Ministry of Health deputy spokesperson, Adrian Chikumbe in an interview with LINA downplayed the fears saying the Ministry has enough ARVs to last 3 months.
“At a national level, there is no reason to panic because there is always a 3 months buffer of ARVs but there is possibility that distribution at district level had some hitches. The drugs are from donors and they make sure we have enough all the time, we don’t procure them from our budget,” explained Chikumbe.
He further told LINA that: “Indeed the hospitals might be having problems to have adequate stock of other drugs which we buy using our money because as you know there is no donor support to our budget this year and the funds are not always adequate.”
He then assured the people of Kamphata especially those positive of HIV that their problem will be investigated and corrected.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :