AIDS patients assured of sufficent medicines

Dr Angela El-Adas  Director General ,Ghana Aids Commission.The National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), of the Ghana Health Service has assured people living with HIV/AIDS, that it has enough stock of antiretroviral drugs to address their needs. It said its present stock can last between three to six months.

In what is expected to be welcome news to people living with the virus, Dr. Stephen Ayisi Addo who is the Acting Programme Manager of the NACP, said there is no cause for alarm.

The fire that gutted the Ghana Central Medical stores at Tema last week, destroying large amounts of drugs and other medical supplies had raised concerns about the impact the inferno was going to have on the supplies of anti-retroviral drugs to HIV/AIDS patients in the country.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghanaian Times, Dr. Ayisi Addo said prior to this, the NACP had already ordered some stocks that luckily were not lost in the inferno.

“As a country we do not wait for items to completely run out. A national buffer of nine (9) months would therefore be procured to make up for the gap immediately.”

According to him most of the drugs available would have lasted up to 2017 before expiring. Therefore there were arrangements to preserve them before the unfortunate inferno.

With the current loss of the buffer stock, they will be able to stock up other areas if the need be.

As part of the efforts to ensure that other regions do not run out of stock, NACP will be redistributing to the various regions that are currently low on stocks.

He said, “With the central warehouse now destroyed the NACP and other stakeholders are in the process of finding temporary locations for stocks that were recently shipped in”.

Dr. Ayisi Addo gave the assurance that the NACP is procuring additional stock to support the regions if the need be.

“We held a meeting with the Minister of Health to find out ways to preserve the current buffer. Based on our discussions and analysis we can tell the amount available can last between three months to six months, he disclosed”.

We are working with stakeholders at all levels to ensure an expedited procurement, supply and effective management of the currently available stocks.

Last week, the minister of health assured the nation that there was enough stock of various drugs and medical equipments to last the country up to three months. It was estimated that the total value of drugs and other medical supplies amounted to about GHC230 million.

By Baaba Crentsil   

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