Hospitals Not Serving Expired ARVs Says Ministry of Health

THE Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) has refuted reports that most health institutions were distributing expired Anti-Retroviral (ARVs) drugs to patients over the past few months.

By Michael Gwarisa

Speaking through a Press Statement, the MoHCC said contrary to media reports that HIV clients were getting expired ARVs, the issue was on the supply side which was however late for some clients who came for replenishments in the third and fourth week of April, creating panic among HIV patient with regards to assured availability of the commodity for their continued use

“In December 2017, TL with a 30th of April 2018 expiration date was delivered to some institutions through the National and Regional Natpahrm warehouses together with some TL with expiration dates of May, June and July 2018.

“These batches are part of a consignment received in August 2016. Some institutions receive3d more of the 30th of April expiring stock than others did. For these institutions, supplies of the May/June/July expiring stock was made on Friday 27t April 2018. This supply was however slightly late for some clients who are coming for their replenishments in the 3rd and 4th week of April regrettably creating panic among these clients with regards to assured availability of the commodity for their continued use.”

Ministry added that the distribution problem has since been resolved and the affected provinces were now receiving commodities with a shelf life beyond April 30.

“We note that while we are well progressed in switching our clients from Nevirapine based regimens, a small proportion of our clients will still require the TL+N combination and we have made contingency plans to have adequate supplies for this group.

“The next such consignment of 118 300 units to cover us for five months is expected in our warehouse during the month the month of May 2018. The Ministry would like to assure the public that government is committed to sustainably provide safe and effective medicines to the population of Zimbabwe.”

Meanwhile, the ministry also allayed fears that Zimbabwe was grappling with ARVs shortages and said the country has enough stock to last the country for the next seven months.

“There has been recent media reports alluding to clients on antiretroviral therapy being put at high risk arising from a situation ascribed to expirations and therefore shortage of medicines. At the outset, the MoHCC would like to inform members of the public particularly those on ARV treatment that there are sufficient supplies of ARVs in the country.

“Our slightly over 1 million clients on ARV medicines are on different regimens or combinations, the, most common is the combination of Tenofovir/Lamivudine/Efavierenz (TLE) or in short TLE. Currently there are 952 281 patients that are on a one tablet a day combination of TLE, are sufficient to last for 7.4 months and shipments will be received soon to keep the desired minimum stock levels,” said the ministry.

They added that there is a group of 33 985 clients representing 3 percent on treatment who are on a treatment regimen consisting of a combination of Tenofovir/Lamivudine plus a single tablet Neverapine or in short TL+N. TL is also combined with other single tablet combinations for some clients.











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