Napwa welcomes ARV factory
Polokwane - The National Association of People Living with Aids and HIV (Napwa) in Limpopo has welcomed moves by two international pharmaceutical companies to make antiretroviral (ARV) drugs more affordable.
Hundreds of lives of people infected with HIV could be saved by the availability of "cheaper but still effective anti-Aids drugs" in South Africa, Napwa's Limpopo secretary Lawrence Sengwane said on Monday
"Now we hear that the factory supplying those cheaper drugs will open in Mamelodi, in Pretoria in the Gauteng province, and we just hope even here in Limpopo the government will do something for us to reach those life saving drugs," he said.
"Our position in Napwa has always been that we welcome any affordable anti-Aids drugs for as long as they have been approved by government."
Limpopo health department spokesperson Joe Maila said on Monday that he was not sure whether the ARV factory in Mamelodi would benefit Limpopo.
He said the department had set aside R268 000 this financial year to purchase ARVs and R80 000 for the national health laboratory services.
"We have 493 ARV sites in the province of which seven are private and at the end of December last year the centres were taking care of 131 954 patients.
"Our aim is to improve access to care, reduce morbidity and mortality rate related to HIV and improve life expectancy," he said.
SANOFI has reportedly joined hands with Hetero of India to manufacture affordable ARV drugs at the site to be opened in Mamelodi.