People living with HIV (PLHIV) plus the CSOs (Civil Society Organization) stormed the ministry of Health head offices in Kampala to protest against the shortage of HIV drugs in health facilities, demanding an explanation from Ministry of health.
Ms. Solome Atim – representative of PLHIV at the country Coordinating Mechanism of Global Fund; says that they have been communicating through email which didn’t yield much result so they decided to go to the offices physically to seek an explanation.
PLHIV have raised the concern over the shortage of Anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) which they say has been ongoing for months.
“Over the last nine months, monitoring of the quality and accessibility of the HIV response carried out by PLHIV and other directly affected communities –has exposed chronic shortages of HIV treatment at facilities across the country, particularly third-line medicines such as raltegravir and darunavir,”
The drugs which are more in shortage are those for a group on what they call, “third line treatment”. Ms. Solome adds that 2500 people are on 3rd line treatment.
CSOs say that the shortage is bringing about drug resistance, treatment failure and deaths of infected people.
Ministry of Heath however dismisses the allegations saying that drugs were sent to health facilities last week.
The Director General of Health Services at the Ministry of Health, Dr Henry Mwebesa, said: “There are adequate third-line drugs in the country and Joint Medical Stores (JMS) and National Medical Stores (NMS) completed the distribution last week.