ARV Crisis: Ombudsman wants Health Ministry to address drugs shortage

Written By: Eric Biegon

The Commission on Administrative Justice popularly known as the Office of the Ombudsman now wants the Ministry of Health to clear the air over widely-circulated reports to the effect that the country is staring at a huge shortage of Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs).

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The Florence Kajuju-led body has specifically given the ministry seven days to furnish the commission with a status report on the progress made towards the release of the ARV drugs that are stuck at the port awaiting clearance.

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“This is information in the public interest and should also be disclosed to the public proactively as per the requirements of the Access to Information Act,” Kajuju said in a letter to Health CS Mutahi Kagwe Tuesday afternoon.

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In the letter, the Ombudsman chairperson also demanded to know the status of rapid test kits and the delay in dispensing the same to people living with HIV and AIDS.

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“This has occasioned untold suffering and threatens the PLWHA’s right to life and highest attainable standard of health which includes right to healthcare services,” She noted

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The demand by the ombudsman comes just days after the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya expressed concern over a crisis caused by a diplomatic row pitting the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health, and Finance.

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