ZIMBABWEAN adults living with HIV are reportedly getting antiretroviral medicines meant for pediatrics a sign showing the country is experiencing stockouts, Parliamentarians heard on Monday.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
Addressing a joint sitting of Health and Child Care committee and the Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS, Zimbabwe Young Positives National Coordinator Ms Anna Sango said several health institutions have been giving adults pediatric drugs such as Abacavir.
“The challenge is that as a substitute to the regimen given to adults, you will find cases of them being given pediatric Abacavir as a sign of shortages of second line regimen,” she said.
She however bemoaned the lack of communication of such changes.
“Clinically it’s possible to do that but the challenge is now when those changes start to happen and there is little communication to people around the issue. It then becomes a challenge. So we want those changes to be communicated to many people living with HIV. These people have the right to know of the substitutes they get and the reasons thereof,” Sango said.
Sango said facilities in Manicaland, Matebeleland, and Mashonaland East were handing out these pediatric ARVs to adults.
“We have a number of facilities like for instance in Mutare giving pediatric drugs, Mutasa, Murehwa District. There are also facilities in matebeleland giving that. We have Victoria Falls as well is giving abacavir or 3TC2 for adults just because of the shortages. Khami, Nkulumani and Mpilo as well are giving these pediatric drugs,” she said.
The joint committee also heard that no communication or proof has been given to the people living with HIB
HIV/AIDS thematic committee chair Senator Morgan Femai said they will sit on the concerns raised and chart a way forward to see to it that the Finance Ministry pays the required USD6, 9 million