Home » Health Services » Masvingo Province Runs Out of ARVs, Say Activists and Patients

PEOPLE living with HIV in Masvingo have gone for two weeks without accessing medication after a serious shortage of ARVs hit the province.

The problem is said to mainly affect those still on the first line treatment where they take at least two drugs per day.

Patients who talked to NewZimbabwe.com earlier this week said the most affected were those who collect their supplies from council clinics in and around Masvingo town.

“Since last week I have been visiting my local clinic only to be told that they are yet to get one of the two drugs I take,” said Teclah Munyariwa of Mucheke suburb.

“We get out medication from Runyararo Clinic but they are supplying Nevirapine only since they have run out of Tenolam.

“I hear the same is also happening at Nemamwa Clinic,” a patient identified as Douglas complained.

The government is in the process of switching patients from first line AIDS treatment, where they were taking two or more tablets a day, to a single dose regime where they would take one pill per day.

“It is true that what is in stock in most clinics is Nevirapine. They (patients) are told to go home and continue coming back and check if clinic(s) have received their supplies.

“We see this as genocide because just telling a person to go home without medication is as good as killing him,” said Julius Monoda, an official with Aocacy Treatment and Literacy Trust.

He however, said they were not having problems with those already on the second line of the treatment.

“All the clinics have adequate supplies of this regimen and we are very happy with how health care workers are treating our members and wish the same could happen to those who are yet to be switched to the second line,” he said.

Contacted for comment, Masvingo provincial medical director, Dr Robert Mudyarandima, said he was yet to assess the situation.

Zimbabwe has made significant progress in managing HIV despite limited resources. The country has reduced the prevalence of the pandemic from 27 % in 1997 to 15%.

Source : New Zimbabwe