HIV/AIDS patients worried over shortage of essential drugs

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People living with HIV are worried over an acute shortage of bactrim and other essential drugs which complement antiretroviral drugs in most of the country’s hospitals saying this poses a threat to their lives.

The drugs are essential for management of optimistic infections that arise due to low immunity in people infected with HIV.

Some HIV positive patients lamented of the unavailability of the drug during a Kalondolondo district interface meeting held Friday in Lilongwe.

“The shortage of bactrim is so acute and this threatens our welfare,” said one of the patients who opted for anonymity.

Spokesperson in the Ministry of Health Mr. Henry Chimbali confirmed that there is indeed a shortage as the drugs from the global fund went out of stock.

He was however quick to say the situation is not out of hand as there are still supplies from Unicef and other development partners ahead of a resumption of the global fund supply by September.

But according to Programme Manager for the Kalondolondo project Mr. Jephter Mwanza, supply of the drugs is erratic in most hospitals across the country.

“Findings of our study cite lack of CD 4 count machines and an acute shortage of bactrim in most hospitals are among the major challenges encountered by HIV infected people in the country,” said Mwanza.

The Kalondolondo programme which started in 2008 is being implemented with assistance from Plan Malawi in conjunction with Action Aid and Congoma.

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