Zambia Faces ‘Critical Shortage’ Of ARVs

“A critical shortage of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) has hit most health facilities around” Zambia, the Lusaka Times reports. “Ministry of Health spokesperson Reuben Kamoto Mbewe confirmed that some clinics had run low on Truvada and neviripine while some had completely run out of the drugs,” the newspaper writes, noting, “As a result of the shortage of the life-saving drugs, most patients were being switched to other types while waiting for the recommended ones to be in stock” (7/27). A new procurement of ARVs “will start arriving in the country [this] week, health deputy minister Patrick Chikusu has announced,” the newspaper writes in a separate article. “Chikusu said another consignment of ARVs would arrive in September this year with support of Global Fund and PEPFAR funding,” according to the Lusaka Times (8/1). Zambia Reports interviews a pharmacist at Kabwe General Hospital who “bemoaned the critical shortage of [ARVs] across Zambia, saying HIV patients will suffer the consequences of missing drugs in the future and the government must take responsibility” (Sakal, 8/5).