21 August 2018

Kenya: We Have Adequate HIV Drugs and Test Kits, Says Ministry

As the drug shortage in public health facilities continues to bite, the Ministry of Health (MoH)) has reassured Kenyans of continued supplies of essential HIV drugs and test kits. The shortage is due to failure by some counties to pay for drugs they received from the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa).

In a press statement to newsrooms on Monday, the ministry said it had the situation under control, but admitted there had been delays in the delivery of a consignment containing the drugs and kits.

The statement, signed by Health Principal Secretary Peter Tum, sought to allay fears of an impending shortage caused by delays in the consignment's delivery; the drugs, test kits and other supplies were ordered in October, 2017.

DELAYS IN DELIVERY

"There were delays in the delivery of 540,730 patient packs of ATV/r due to global supply constraints of raw materials or active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs)," said the PS, adding that payment for the deliveries was also delayed: "Since the deliveries had not been made by June 30, 2018, the payment was rescheduled for processing in the 2018/2019 financial year."

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He said the supplier had committed to supply 42,000 packs of the ARVs by July 30, and they are already in the county. Another 250,000 units are due by August 24, with the final batch expected to arrive on September 30.

SHORTAGES

"We would like to emphasise that there are no current, or impending, shortages of any category of ARVs as we still have 15 months' stock. For this particular consignment of ATV/r, we have firm assurance that the supplier will complete all deliveries by September 30, 2018," said statement.

Currently, 1.1 million Kenyans are on HIV treatment, with an estimated 1.6 million infected. Prevalence among adults stands at 5.4 per cent of the population, according to t UNAIDS, with 36,000 Aids-related deaths and 62,000 new infections every year.

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