Uganda Has Enough Antiretrovirals In Stock for 2009, Official Says
Uganda's Ministry of Health on Monday announced that it had enough antiretroviral drugs in stock for 2009, relieving fears that the country was facing a shortage of the drugs, New Vision/AllAfrica.com reports.
Zainabu Akol, head of the ministry's HIV/AIDS Control Program, said, "We now have enough [antiretrovirals] in stock," adding, "In fact, we are trying to find ways of ensuring that they do not expire but get to those who need them." In addition, the health ministry has stopped accepting donations of antiretrovirals temporarily to ensure the current supply can be used before it expires, Akol said. Guidelines prohibit the ministry from accepting donated drugs that will expire within 12 months. In August 2008, the ministry experienced a shortage of antiretrovirals that was averted with additional purchases and donations. An unnamed official from the ministry recently said that officials are "working hard to ensure that all sites receive their stocks."
According to New Vision/AllAfrica.com, 156,000 Ugandans are receiving antiretrovirals currently, and about 1,500 people are enrolled in the country's antiretroviral program monthly (Bugembe, New Vision/AllAfrica.com, 1/12).