Shortage of HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria Drugs in Ugandan District Could Lead to Treatment Interruption, Drug Resistance
A shortage of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria medications in Uganda's northern Gulu district could cause patients to interrupt treatment and lead to drug resistance, Paul Onek, Gulu director of health services, said recently, IRIN/PlusNews reports. According to IRIN/PlusNews, inadequate management of the country's drug supply regularly causes shortages.
More than 2,000 TB patients in the district have begun a six-month treatment regimen and about 1,300 HIV-positive people have received a monthly supply of antiretrovirals from Gulu's largest hospital. However, Onek noted that the district has not received TB drugs since January. Angelo Ojera, HIV focal point in the district, said that some TB patients are taking expired medications and that some HIV-positive people who have malaria have had to purchase drugs from private clinics.
The government has said the shortage of TB drugs is because of a disbursement delay for a grant from the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Ministry of Health is purchasing drugs from Kenya to alleviate the situation until the country's drug supply increases. In addition, a local drug manufacturing plant recently opened and is expected to increase the supply of antiretrovirals (IRIN/PlusNews, 4/16).