Murang’a County Executive Committee (CEC) member for health and sanitation Joseph Mbai said the recently distributed ARVs by the government are not toxic as it was reported by a section of the media.
Mbai, who also doubles as Chairperson of health CECs Caucus, highly condemned the reports which indicated the ARVs distributed by Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) were toxic and could pose danger to patients.
Speaking in his office, the CEC termed the report on the ARVs as malicious and purely political.
“It is very unfortunate that the story was in bad taste, either it was by design or default and we as counties in charge of administering the ARVs to HIV/AIDS patients we condemn such kind of reporting which lacks facts,” he said.
It was stated in the story that the ARVs drug contains Nevirapine regimen which is toxic.
Mbai noted that the government in 2018 phased out the old regimen that had Nevirapine in the drug and introduced a new regimen that was deemed more efficient and with less side effects.
“I want to clarify and confirm that no patient is on this old regimen that is said to be toxic, all our patients have been moved to a new regimen which is safe and more effective as guided by the Ministry of Health,” Mbai said.
“We as Murang’a county health committee have confirmed that the ARVs are safe and patients should continue taking them as advised and without fear,” he added.
The CEC admitted that the country had some challenges in terms of procurement of the drugs and PPEs assuring that that the government is aware and is dealing with the matter.
“I want to bring back the confidence of the patients and inform them that they can go to the nearest health facility and be guided on getting the new regimen of the ARVs,” he further said.
In Murang’a, Mbai confirmed that they have stock of ARVs which can last for two months saying arrangements are being done to get more stocks of the drugs.
Meanwhile, Mbai observed that currently there is a challenge of getting gloves in many medical facilities.
He said the shortage of gloves can be attributed by high demand hence prompting the manufacturers to hike the prices.
The CEC urged the people manufacturing the gloves to remember that they have a responsibility to provide solutions to Kenyans without stressing them financially.
By Bernard Munyao and Anita Omwenga