Zimbabwe: Shortage of TB Drugs Hits Mash West

(File photo).
30 August 2018

Mash West — Mashonaland West Province has started rationing supplies of TB drugs, amid a critical nationwide shortage, with priority now being given to hotspots such as Kadoma.

The province received limited supplies last week, prompting it to target centres with a high TB burden.

In an interview, provincial health and child care promotion officer Mr George Kambondo confirmed that the province had received the TB drug - rhzefdc -and supplied Kadoma Hospital and clinics in the area.

The decision, he said, was taken after considering that Kadoma had a high number of TB cases against inadequate supplies to cover the whole province.

"We got limited supplies of TB drugs and we decided to stock hospitals and clinics in Kadoma where we have a high number of patients on treatment compared to other areas," he said.

"There are, however, other areas in the province such as Chinhoyi and Banket, which are in need of the drugs, but there is nothing that we can do because of the quantities available."

Mr Kambondo said there were risks of people developing drug-resistant strains due to treatment interruption if the issue was not addressed urgently.

One woman said she had stopped taking the drugs in May and was now afraid that she could develop the drug -resistant strain.

"I stopped taking my medication regularly in May and I hope I am still safe considering the warnings we got about skipping our medication," said the woman.

The deputy director for aids and TB Unit in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Charles Sandy recently confirmed the dire supply situation, saying Medicines San Frontiers and Embassy of South Sudan had chipped in to avert the crisis.

Zimbabwe is among the top 30 TB-burdened countries in the world.

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