Government moves in to tackle ARVs shortage

Written By: Collins Anampiu/Christine Muchira

The Government has expressed regret on the interruption of the multi-month scripting and dispensation of ARVS for the management of HIV in the country.

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According to a statement by the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, the disruption had been occasioned by failure to receive a consignment of ARV donations that were expected to arrive by the end of October 2020.

Kagwe said the current shortage was not anticipated and the government was informed of the same in January.

He said the ministry of health has since sought approvals for the batch of drugs donated by USAID and are soon expected to be handed over and distributed through the established systems.

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The CS further added the government has also received some drugs from other pipelines sources and is currently restocking facilities around the country.

He assured the communities of people living with HIV that the government is committed to ensuring a seamless supply of ARVS.

“The Ministry of Health remains committed to a sustained HIV response. I wish to assure communities of people living with HIV that the Government is committed to ensuring a seamless supply of ARVs,” the CS assured.

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Kenya has made significant progress in her HIV response as noted through progressive decline in HIV prevalence among adults from a peak of about 10% in the mid 90s to 4.5% in 2020 and reduction of new HIV infections from about 75,000 per year in 2010 to 41,000 in 2019.

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Deaths arising from HIV infections have also declined by 64% since 2013. With more than 1.2 million people living with HIV on long-term life saving medication, the country has one of the largest treatment programs in Africa.

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