SIGH OF RELIEF

Government begins restocking ARVs across the country

However, patients will continue to face rationing in the initial stages of the drugs despite the Health Ministry beginning redistribution.

In Summary

• Patients will receive enough drugs for short periods at a time till the regular supply is restored.

•The ministry has since sought approval for the drugs that have been lying at the Port since January over  Sh90 million tax row.

In Kenya, at least 1.6 million people are living with HIV and one million are on ARVs.
In Kenya, at least 1.6 million people are living with HIV and one million are on ARVs.

It is a sigh of relief for persons living with HIV after the government began restocking of ARVs across the country.

However, patients will continue to face rationing in the initial stages of the drugs despite the Health Ministry beginning redistribution.

This is after the ministry noted that despite having received some drugs from other sources and restocking already going on in various health facilities countrywide, patients will receive enough drugs for short periods at a time till the regular supply is restored.

The ministry has since sought approval for the drugs that have been lying at the port since January over  Sh90 million tax row.

“Ordinarily, stocks for the country are procured regularly covering extended periods of time. Delays in supply have not been experienced as consignments, even when late, arrive in time to meet the demand for ARVs,” Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said.

“The current scenario was not anticipated, and the government only got to know about the likelihood of delayed supply late in January. USAID is expected to hand over the same for distribution through the established systems,” the CS said.

The stand-off comes after USAID, who sponsors the commodities, avoided Kemsa and sent ARVs and test kits to Kenya through a private US company, Chemonics International.

USAID also wants to establish its own parallel drug distribution system in Kenya through Chemonics instead of using Kemsa.

Some of the commodities that were being held include HIV testing, treatment and prevention commodities such as ARVs, laboratory reagents as well as TB diagnostic and prevention medications.

Further in line with the Big 4 Agenda as the journey towards self-reliance to achieve universal coverage of health, the ministry is considering options for sustainable financing of HIV intervention.

Many people living with HIV have been getting less than the expected dosages in small polythene papers when they go for their refills with Homa Bay county being hit the most by the shortage.

 

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris