GOVERNMENT has never procured expired Antiretroviral Drugs (ARVs) as previously reported in the media, Health Minister Chitalu Chilifya told Parliament yesterday.
Responding to a question raised by Luena Member of Parliament David Kundoti, who wanted clarification on media reports that Government had procured expired ARVs, Dr Chilufya said the Patriotic Front (PF) government under the leadership of President Edgar Lungu would never allow the procurement of expired ARVs and later be given to patients.
He explained that if procured drugs were tested to be expired, Government would instead deal with the supplier and not distribute such drugs to patients.
“Government did not procure expired ARVs and no patient has been put on expired drugs. We are a caring government and the health of our people is our priority,” Dr. Chilufya said.
Dr Chilufya emphasised the importance for healthier eating and physical activities as ways of preventing non communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension among others.
He said the country was currently recording high disease burden from non-communicable diseases which he said were a major cause of disability and premature deaths and contribute substantially to the escalating costs of health care.
“Non-communicable diseases can be prevented and controlled if individuals and communities adhere to social behaviour change and communication message which are routinely provided on the importance of exercising, healthier eating,” he said.