Drug Stock Levels To Go Up- Minister

DRUG stock levels at all hospitals and health institutions are set to normalise at the back increased efforts to ramp up production at a local level as well as imporved financial support from the $18 million that was realised from air time health levy.

By Michael Gwarisa

Speaking during a tour of NATPHARM Pharmaceuticals yesterday, health and child care minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said the ministry had received $18 million from the air time health levy and much of the money would go it procuring essential drugs  for local hospitals and clinics.

“As you can see now we have got the health levy fund that we get from your cell phone, each time you make a call, we get 0.5 cents out of every dollar and  that’s is the money that has accumulated to the tune of $18 million. That is the money that we are using outside the money that is brought in by donors, we have this health levy fund and we are pleased that the stock levels are quite high now.

“We hope this continues and the drugs go where they are supposed to go. We are hoping the next few weeks, the drug stock levels in provincial hospitals, district hospitals and general hospitals and all health institutions will be very high,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.

He added that the issue of ARV stock outs was now a thing of the past and the new ARV, the E400 was now available locally.

“We are happy that we have got those stocks here, the people are on the ground and we want to make sure the drugs are avail;able in the next few weeks. We want the fund to be completely ring fenced and the allocation from the national budget should go where it is supposed to go.

“We continue lobbying for more funds so as to ensure drugs are available.”

A massive ARV shortage was reported in Auguts this year in Zimbabwe’s public health institutions with the biggests shortage being experianced in the  Abacavir — a second line ARV drug to the extent that people taking that drug were only being given a week’s supply instead of the usual three months’ provision.

Limited availability of ARVs impedes patient initiation, adherence and poses a major barrier to win against the HIV response as a country.

It should be emphasised that optimal adherence is essential to ensure individual treatment access and limit viral resistance.

Treatment for HIV and aids is threatened when ARV drugs are not available, undermining treatment compliance.

 

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