Explain ARV’s shortage, govt told

The MMD on the Copperbelt has challenged Health Minister Dr Joseph Kasonde to explain to the nation the health implications on people who could not be administered with HIV/ AIDS drugs arising from failure by the government to procure the ARV’S on time.
Provincial publicity secretary Yotam Mtayachalo said that this was a very serious issue and government could not continue keeping quite when some lives where exposed to danger.
Mr Mtayachalo said the minister should issue a comprehensive statement to this effect and state how many patients were affected.
He said the minister responsible should also state whether government would compensate the affected people because there was a possibility that the affected could develop complications.
“These drugs are life saving because they suppress the virus and any break in the intake has far reaching health consequences. Some patients may develop resistant to the drug and others may suffer other health complications which can lead to people suffering opportunistic diseases depending on immunity levels which may result to deaths.
“We need an explanation on this matter without further delay because the people who are responsible to ensure that these drugs are available at all times should be held accountable,” he said.
Mr Mtayachalo charged that this was lack of responsibility by the people in charge that failed to ensure that there was adequate drug all the time.
The opposition leader also noted that health institutions in the country had been neglected as there was no indication by government that it would improve them.
He said a lot of health institutions lacked medical facilities such as drugs and equipment including a shortage of trained staff.
He said the PF government should ensure to that the health sector was well catered for in order to give Zambians the best health service in order to achieve the millennium development goals on health.
The country had run out of Nevirapine an HIV drug and this forced the health providers to ration the drugs in an effort to carter for all the patients that were on the drug.