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Gov’t keen to ensure stable supply of ARVs

The Ministry of Health is making every effort to ensure there is stable supply of all HIV commodities in the country by end of January 2022.

Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said that the Ministry’s leadership and representatives of People Living with HIV met to resolve issues around the Antiretroviral (ARVs) and Laboratory Reagents.

Kagwe, in a statement on Wednesday, said that Kenya has made significant progress in the HIV response in that out of the estimated 1.5 million people living with HIV, 1.2 million are currently on long-term lifesaving antiretroviral drugs.

“However, the country recently experienced a temporary disruption in the commodity supply chain that affected the hitherto seamless distribution of ARVs and Early infant diagnosis reagents for people living with HIV. As a result, eligible people living with HIV have been receiving less than the 3-months’ supply of medications that they were initially receiving,” said Kagwe.

The CS said that the country is also facing a disruption in the supply of Laboratory reagents due to a global disruption in the supply chain adding that the Ministry of Health has been closely monitoring the global supply chain of all HIV commodities to ensure there are no stock outs, while exploring alternative Viral load and Early infant testing platforms.

“Yesterday, the Ministerial leadership met with representatives of the People Living with HIV at the Ministry’s headquarters to explore ways of resolving the stock out challenge being experienced in the country. Some of the resolutions included; Government expediting the commodities procurement processes to have the commodities in the country in the next three to four weeks; Government to also explore local manufacturing for sustainable supply in future,” said Kagwe.

He explained that the Ministry of Health appreciates the long-standing partnership with the networks of people living with HIV and will continue to work with them and all other stakeholders to address gaps and challenges in the HIV response including the issues affecting the commodities supply chain.

“In this regard, we reassure the public that there are enough antiretroviral medications for all clients despite the reduced dispensation period to every client. The Ministry looks forward to continued access to safer and efficacious drugs by People Living with HIV and the resumption of dispensation of multiple months’ supply of ARV drugs as guided by Differentiated Service Delivery Models,” said Kagwe.

By Joseph Ng’ang’a

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