Malawi gov’t spends K3bn every three months for new ARV

Government says it is spending approximately MK3 billion every three months to acquire the new ARV regimen.

Spokesperson for Ministry of Health, Henry Chimbali made the revelation on Wednesday during an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana).

Chimbali said government started distributing new ARV regimen in July through recommendations from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“Currently, the country has approximately 430, 000 people who are on ARV treatment, all of which are expected to receive the new ARV regimen after the old one is phased out,” said Chimbali.

Chimbali: New ARVs costly
Chimbali: New ARVs costly

The new HIV/AIDS treatment is financed by the Global Fund through an HIV/AIDS grant of MK64.7 million.

Speaking at this year’s annual conference of Malawi Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (MANET+), in August, Dr. Frank Chimbwandira said the old regimens are expected to be completely phased out this month to complete the transition from the old regimen to the new ones.

Dr. Chimbwandira said the price of the new regimen is still posing a challenge, however it was necessary to make them available to a Malawian because they have lesser side effects as compared to the old regimens.

“We therefore recommend that the first recipients of the new regimens be those who were not responding to old drugs, pregnant women, children below the age of five, new infections and TB patients before completely phasing out the old regimen.” said Dr. Chimbwandira.

According to Ministry of Health statistics, the country has approximately 672 sites that provide HIV/AIDS treatment.

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