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Tsholotsho residents in the diaspora accessing ARVs from local clinics

by Staff reporter
05 Jun 2024 at 02:08hrs | Views
Over 5,000 diaspora residents from Tsholotsho in Matabeleland North province receive their antiretroviral (ARV) drugs from local clinics, facilitated by cross-border transporters known as Omalayitsha.

The National Aids Council (NAC) implemented this program to ensure migrant workers, especially those in South Africa and other neighboring countries, have easy access to their medication.

Family members collect the drugs locally and pass them to Omalayitsha for delivery.

Despite the program's success, initiated in 2019, challenges remain, such as the lack of permits for transporters and the high cost of viral load tests in South Africa.

Mrs. Sithandekile Ncube, the Tsholotsho District HIV/Aids programs coordinator, noted that 5,228 ART clients are in the diaspora, with 3,849 in South Africa.

Feedback from residents indicated that cross-border transporters sometimes face difficulties at borders without formal documentation, leading to smuggling risks. Additionally, diaspora patients struggle with expensive viral load tests in South Africa.

Residents urged the government to address these issues, suggesting permits for transporters and negotiation with South African authorities to reduce test costs.

The HIV/Aids Parliamentary Committee, led by Mrs. Angeline Tongogara, acknowledged these concerns and aims to use the gathered data to improve HIV/Aids management and reduce new cases.

Source - the chronicle