The National Aids Council (NAC) has availed new antiretroviral (ARV) drugs worth $4,5 million to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare for distribution among disadvantaged people living with the HIV and Aids virus.
The new drug, Tenofovir, does not include Stavudine, which had a side-effects problem.
The drugs were handed over by NAC board chairperson Reverend Murombedzi Kuchera to acting Health and Child Welfare minister Sydney Sekeramayi at a function held in Harare on Thursday.
“I feel highly honoured to receive yet another consignment of ARV drugs that have been procured by the National Aids Council in support of the national antiretroviral programme,” said Sekereamayi.
“I have no doubt that these drugs will go a long way in further strengthening our national response to HIV and Aids. The current consignment of Tenofovir drugs comes at a very critical time in the roll-out of the ART (anti-retroviral treatment) programmes,” said Sekeramayi.
Meanwhile, NAC also handed over $270 000 to the Ministry of Labour and Social Services to fund children’s education needs.
Accepting the money, Labour and Social Services minister Paurina Mpariwa said although there was a deficit of $7 million which was needed to fund the Basic Education Assistance Module (Beam) her ministry was grateful for the donation as it would go a long way in assisting the needy.
“I would wish to emphasise that the Beam processes are apolitical and therefore I call upon all involved not to politicise the selection, to play their roles in a diligent and transparent manner to avoid excluding real deserving children or including non-deserving cases.”