ARV stock arrives in Gauteng

2013-07-09 20:10


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Johannesburg – Antiretroviral (ARV) medication was distributed on Tuesday to Gauteng clinics experiencing a shortage of supplies, Health MEC Hope Papo said.

"We understand that a shortage of drugs places a heavy burden on patients, who have to make many trips to the clinics," Papo said in a statement.

"We are also sensitive to the fact that patients my develop drug resistance if they do not take their medication regularly. It is for this reason that we are taking every possible step to stabilise drug supply in the province."

Papo said a total of 50 000 units of Lamivudine were delivered to the Helen Joseph Hospital on Tuesday morning, and it would be delivered to clinics in Ekurhuleni, on the East Rand.

More stock was expected to be distributed on Wednesday, Papo said.

In a statement, the department said the Daveyton East clinic, which had inadequate ARV supplies, was among the first clinics to receive stock.

ARV shortage

On Tuesday, the Health Professionals' Sector of SA National Aids Council (Sanac) expressed concern at the shortage of ARV medication in the province.

"It is sad to note that some of the patients in East Rand clinics are reported to have gone for a week without their antiretroviral drugs," Sanac said in a statement.

"This, we believe, compromises compliance, as antiretroviral drugs can prolong life only when taken correctly and timely."

Sanac said it would be difficult to fight the epidemic if problems of medication supply were still happening.

"We wish to urge the Gauteng department of health to strengthen its procurement and distribution systems so that such an occurrence does not happen in future."

Department spokesperson Simon Zwane said the shortage was caused, because of capacity at the suppliers, and that the department was looking at ways of improving capacity at the depots.

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