Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Bureau
THE National Aids Council (Nac) has urged Government to immediately address foreign currency shortages for the procurement of drugs by the health sector which have resulted in the shortage of second line Anti-retroviral drugs in the country.
Speaking during the World Aids day commemoration at White City Stadium in Bulawayo on Friday, Nac board chairman Dr Evaristo Marowa said the shortage of second line ARVs reported in the country, was a direct result of the shortages of foreign currency. Dr Marowa said Government should prioritise the health sector particularly the procurement of drugs that are not locally available.
“In line with Government policy, the Nac allocates 50 percent of the Aids Levy towards treatment. While resources have been set aside for this and other HIV and Aids commodities as well as tools of the trade, the actual procurement has been severely affected by the ongoing foreign currency shortages.
Recently the media has reported about the shortage of second line ARVs, which is a direct result of the shortages of foreign currency. I therefore would want to appeal to the authorities to increase foreign currency allocation for the procurement of ARVs and related commodities,” he said.
Dr Marowa said the country has recorded a significant drop in the number of new infections.
Dr Marowa said transmission of mother to child transmission of HIV has dropped to 5,8 percent which is less than one percentage point to reach the Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission (EMTCT) global target of less than five percent.