Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Health has revealed that despite the ongoing rationalization of antiretroviral (ARV) drug usage in health facilities, the country has adequate stocks to manage all the patients on treatment in Uganda.
“Stakeholders and patients countrywide should be reassured that there are the right quantities of ARV drug formulations for patients to continue their treatment without any interruptions,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement on Monday.
Reacting to reports that the country does not have adequate stocks of ARVs, the Ministry of Health said delays in delivery of drugs in September resulted in the quantity available falling below the acceptable buffer stock of 4 months.
“As a result of this, we had to rationalize drug usage in the health facilities. This meant that instead of prescribing the normal two months of drug refills, health workers reduced the refill period to one month,” the Ministry said.
The statement added that that the pending deliveries of the affected second line and paediatric ARV formulations for the public sector have now arrived in the Country. NMS is in the process of distributing these commodities with prioritization of the Districts and Health facilities that were most affected by the rationalization,” the statement said.
“Stakeholders and patients countrywide should be reassured that there are the right quantities of ARV drug formulations for patients to continue their treatment without any interruptions.”
The Ministry of Health operates a dual track supply chain for ARVs involving two large sectors namely the public sector represented by Government (Public Health Facilities) which are supplied through the National Medical stores (NMS); and the private sector represented by the Private Not for Profit (PNFP), and Private for Profit (PFP) health facilities supplied through the Joint Medical Store (JMS) and Medical Access Uganda Limited (MAUL).
— Ministry of HealthUG (@MinofHealthUG) November 24, 2017
Over two-thirds of patients in Uganda are supplied through the public sector supply chain through the National Medical Stores.
The public sector commodities are primarily funded by the Government of Uganda and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria.
The Private Sector commodities on the other hand, are funded by the US Government through the PEPFAR program.
In the last two years, the United States Government through PEPFAR have provided some resources to bridge gaps in the public sector ARV supplies.
The Ministry said the situation for all commodities (First line and second line) for commodities in the private sector supply chain are normal and stable.