Thandeka Matebesi, Sunday News Reporter
The Government has announced that Tuberculosis drugs are now available after the Ministry of Health and Child Care received a consignment of fixed dose combination medicines from an international supplier.
Deputy director in the Aids and TB Unit in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Charles Sandy confirmed that the ministry received a consignment of fixed dose combination (FDC) medicines from Global Drug Facility.
“We received fixed dose combination (FDC) medicines for the intensive phase treatment of tuberculosis (TB) from Global Drug Facility late last month which covers the first two months of TB treatment. We also received drugs from Medicins San Frontiers (MSF) early this month which will cover the 3rd month of treatment,” said Dr Sandy.
He added: “We have also received yesterday a long awaited shipment of 4FDC RHZE equivalent to a supply of four months of national requirements which came as a donation from South Sudan, bringing into effect the south-south co-operation. With these measures and successful deliveries, our stocks will revert to the desired levels.”
Dr Sandy urged the responsible authorities to collect the drugs and distribute them in various centers around the country.
“We are now distributing the drugs in the provinces, we started last week so we encourage all our clients to go to their nearest clinics and demand those drugs. They are for free.” he said.
He said the ministry was set to receive more drugs from the Health Levy to ensure there was no shortage.
The country recently experienced a shortage of fixed dose combination (FDC) medicines for the intensive phase treatment of tuberculosis.
The main reason for the low availability status of FDC-RHZE has been delays in the delivery of the commodity from the country’s regular international supplier, the Global Drug Facility (GDF).
Medicines for the treatment of tuberculosis (TB) are available in several forms, single formulation and fixed dose combination tablets. FDC make it easier for patients to take as they take a single tablet instead of many tablets (up to four).
The fixed dose combination is composed of Rifampicin, Isoniazid, Pyrazinamide and Ethambutol (FDC-RHZE).
The Ministry also said measures have been put in place to ensure continued access to TB treatment for patients.