Antiretroviral drugs shortage: ‘Government should step in’ – NSA-Ghana

President of the Non-State Actors for Health and Development (NSA-Ghana), Cecelia Senoo, has called on the government to as a matter of urgency make available antiretroviral medicines for persons living with HIV, especially children due to its complete shortage in the country.

“We contacted some of the Regional Medical stores, some say they do delivery of just a few ARVS, there is a big challenge of shortage of ARVS…there are also certain components of the ARVS that are not available,” said Cecilia Senoo.

She noted that the current supplies available in the various health facilities will be inadequate to serve patients for the next 5 months.

“Even the supplies we have cannot take us to the end of December or early next year because you have to have at least 6-months stock… we have a small quantity of ARVs here … the government should step in so we have adequate supplies of AVRS to prevent people from developing resistance.”

Antiretroviral treatment is a lifesaving intervention for persons living with HIV, it dramatically reduces HIV-related morbidity and mortality. Constant intake of these drugs helps prevent HIV transmission to sex partners of people with HIV and also prevents mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

According to reports, AVRs in Ghana have been in shortage for months now. Mrs. Senoo charged the AIDS Commission to monitor their stocks to ensure year-round supply considering the long processes one has to go through to acquire the drugs.

She revealed that “It can take as long as six months, if you miss the month of request then you are in trouble… you must make sure that you have allocated resources for ARVs because it is life-saving”.

When GhanaWeb contacted the Director-General of Ghana AIDS Commission, Mr. Kyeremeh Atuahene, he admitted that “towards the end of June stocks were running low, we are refilling the stocks now so there is no cause for alarm” he, however, assured the public that “the medicines are in the system now” adding that “If they go to the health facilities they will get medicines now so they shouldn’t worry”.


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