Pretoria — The Gauteng Provincial Government has dismissed as untrue reports suggesting that it has run out of the essential Tenofovir and Abacavir ARV drugs.
"We are not running out of ARVs, the supply might be low but this does not mean there are no drugs in the province," Gauteng MEC for Health Ntombi Mekgwe said.
Mekgwe was speaking during the official opening of Simunye Community Health Care centre in Westonaria, West Rand District.
In recent weeks, concerns have been raised about the lack of medicines at public health facilities across the province.
However, according to the Gauteng Provincial Government, Mekgwe reassured the people of Gauteng that the availability of these drugs had improved substantially over the past weeks.
"We have visited all the regional pharmacies, including the clinics...Tenofovir is available and Abacavir tables are a challenge, there is slow stock turnover of these pills but what we have is Abacavir syrup.
"Abacavir tables and syrup do the same thing - the only difference is in terms of the dosage which should be managed by the clinic. So if you receive the syrup, that should be enough," said Mekgwe.
Earlier this month, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and Health MEC Ntombi Mekgwe visited the Auckland Park medical depot to check on the availability of medicines.
Mekgwe said: "We have reviewed our system to identify inefficiencies and put in place strategies to improve the situation."
She added that the department was moving swiftly to implement a turnaround strategy at its medical depot to improve controls on the distribution of medicines from the supply depot to hospitals and clinics.
Mekgwe also said a committee of five pharmacists had also been set up to continually engage with suppliers to release more supplies.