HIV/Aids patients at risk as crucial drug expires

OVER 750 000 patients on HIV and Aids treatment have been affected by a stock-out of Tenolam drug at government health facilities, increasing patients’ chances of developing health complications and adverse side effects after being introduced to new combinations, NewsDay has learnt.

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

Tenolam is a potent drug prescribed for HIV and Aids, and hepatitis B either alone or with other medication. It works by reducing the amount of hepatitis B virus in the body.

Life Empowerment Support Organisation (Leso) executive director, Olive Mutabeni yesterday said the organisation recently conducted a survey throughout the country and found out that most HIV and Aids patients were being turned away due to the shortage of Tenolam drug, where old supplies are due to expire today.

“From the survey we carried out, most people are being turned away from government health institutions due to the shortage of the drug. In most health facilities, Tenolam is expiring tomorrow (today) and the one which I have is expiring in June and the government is set to destroy thousands of dollars’ worth of the drug,” Mutabeni said.
He said there were serious shortages at most health facilities in Matabeleland South province.

Mutabeni added that they had also discovered that shortages of the drug had persisted at some institutions for close to a year, exposing people living with the virus.
“It is worrying that other centres have the drug which they failed to utilise until it expired while in Matabeleland and parts of Midlands have not received the drug for some time.”

Pan African Positive Women’s Coalition co-ordinator Tendai Westerhof said the expiry of the drug will complicate the lives of people living with HIV since there would be disruption in their adherence to treatment.

“The drug worth thousands of dollars will be expiring tomorrow (today) and likely to be destroyed. We wonder how as a country we came to this situation considering that thousands of people living with HIV are still not enrolled on free ART and the new strategy towards achieving the 90-90-90 Aids universal target is test and treat,” Westerhof said.

“We are calling on the government to set up a commission of inquiry into the procurement of HIV treatment in the country by Natpharm. National Aids Council has maintained that 60% of the Aids Levy goes towards treatment and we get concerned that the drug expires before it’s consumed by the intended beneficiaries. How on earth can a government purchase millions of ARVs and fail to roll them out to those in need until the treatment expires?”

However, Health minister David Parirenyatwa allayed fears of the shortages, saying it was being caused by the new drugs which they wanted to introduce and would replace Tenolam.

“The shortage of Tenolam drug was because we are changing the regime of this drug to another after patients experienced side effects on this one. We have enough stock of this new regime to cover all our patients,” he said.

8 Comments

  1. Khamis Jackson Morris

    Can you send me your phone numbers plus, how I will get the drug an in south Sudan,

  2. Lord, please heal our land

    Ko, do we just change drugs on behalf of the people without the knowledge of the people? Would it not have been ideal to perhaps advise, by telling the organisations representing the affected parties, or even by putting out a press advert, that the drug was going to change and there was therefore no need for panic? On whom was the new drug tested before approval if the old one had such drastic side effects that it had to be changed without consultation? Clearly, that first one wasn’t tested much if it’s had such a negative impact as we are being told. Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results

  3. Dont worry mbanje iri kurimwa na Parirenyatwa yava kuda kuibva. Haina ma side sffects

  4. Why is Matebeleland always the one affected by shortages nhai Governement? We expect better treatment and inclusion of all in this new dispensation,

  5. UNDP is the Principal Recipient of the Global Fund and responsible for procurement of all HIV treatment in the country. They are the once causing these disruptions as they do not have the interest of people living with HIV at heart. They delay disbursements and take forever to procure these essential life saving medicines because of their bureaucratic tendencies. Zimbabwe must now get a new PR and away with UNDP. Natpharm is also disorganized because we cannot accept a situation whereby the medicines expire yet many people cannot have access to the treatment and on the other hand other ART centers are given more than what they can consume whilst other centered have none. Dr Parirenyatwa must stop lying as the new drug he is talking about is not even in stock as yet. It seems the good minister continues to blunder on everything. He is becoming synonymous of telling lies now and again. National AIDS Council must pull up their socks as they are not being pro-active on the issue but busy abusing the money of taxes payers on irrelevant activities which really do not benefit the vulnerable communities instead of ensuring that we have sufficient treatment in the country and no drug stock-outs. Life empowerment support organization and Pan African Positive Women Coalition and more activisit please keep making the noise.

  6. Mwari acha pindira chete. Have faith and believe with all your heart that God will save His people in Zimbabwe. All these liars will be put to shame – Amen

  7. Hello,
    I was diagnosed of this HIV deadly disease a friend of mine introduce DrJerry to me and I actually did contact him after he has prepare what he said he will do and he sent it to me and I used it according to his prescription after one week I went to the hospital to check my status again because I was feeling differently from the way I used when I was tested POSITIVE to my greatest surprise the status was NEGATIVE the medical doctors there was surprise and I have to tell the whole world about this if you are still having this similar problem I recommend you to
    Dr Jerry for you here is his email address: whatapp +2348158452872

  8. and what is the picture of Tendai doing on that story?

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