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Chiredzi General Hospital gives out expired ARVs to HIV patients

by Garikai Mafirakureva
06 Mar 2017 at 09:27hrs | Views
CHIREDZI - Zimbabwean government's woes continue to mount, with government hospitals either running out of essential drugs or giving out expired drugs.

Patients at Chiredzi general hospital told this reporter yesterday,  that they are receiving their three month supply of the life prolonging ARVs with an expiry date of February 28 2017.

One of them even went further to reveal  boxes and containers with Batch No. E150440B and a MFG date of 03/2015 and an EXP date of 02/2017.

"Most patients don't look at the expiry date. They are just given their drugs and rush home with their three months supply. After all the nurses are not all that friendly, so if you dare ask questions you risk being thrown out.

"Receiving medication for our terminal illness is no longer a basic right as enshrined in the country's constitution, because even those who request for four or five months supply for different reasons has to fork out $5 for the service," said Susan Dombo. (*Not her real name to protect her privacy)

Another patient, Jonas Rombe (*also not his real name), reinforced Susan's sentiments and went on to say many patients risk regression after taking expired drugs.

"If we revert back to the lessons we went through before we're initiated on Antiretroviral Therapy, there is a higher risk of regression and chances of drug resistance," said Jonas.

When contacted for comment, Masvingo Provincial Medical Director (PMD), Dr Amadeus Shamu professed ignorance and said investigations will be carried out.

"We are not aware of that. I promise investigations will be carried out. ARVs are very essential to people living with HIV that we cannot risk giving patients expired drug. We might have one or two isolated cases, but I doubt if the whole lot is expired.

"Patients should immediately notify our staff and have the problem rectified. As for the issue of bribes we are are going to make a thorough investigation," he said.

The Minister of Health and Child Welfare, David Parirenyatwa, could not be reached for comment as his mobile was out of reach.

Meanwhile,  the health sector has been dealt a severe blow after doctors at government hospitals downed tools demanding better salaries and working conditions.

Source - Garikai Mafirakureva