The Ministry of Health, has clarified that there is no shortage of Anti-retroviral ARV’s drugs in Zambia.

The Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary- Technical Services Prof. Lackson Kasonka has eased fears relating to the reported shortage of ART drugs such as Zidovudine and Lamivudine.

In a statement made available to One Love Radio News, Mr. Kasonka said the Ministry of Health is in consultation with the Civil Society Organizations representing People Living with HIV and implementing partners has made a decision to accelerate the transition of individuals on the said drug to better, safer and easier-to-take ARVs.

Mr. Kasonka said the Government remains committed to ensuring people living with HIV in Zambia have adequate access to quality and efficacious anti-retroviral drugs, for a longer healthier life.

He further added that guidance has been provided to health workers to fast-track the transition from Zidovudine-containing ARV combinations to TLD or TAFED in view of new developments, based on scientific evidence generated from the African continent including Zambia.

Mr. Kasonka was reacting to calls from different stakeholders who called on Republican president Mr. Hakainde Hichilema to declare that shortage of drugs in hospitals a national disaster.

“To this effect, 98.5 per cent of the 1,229,781 receiving ARVs are now receiving the newer, safer, easier to take and more efficacious dolutegravir containing ARV combinations called Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/ Lamivudine/ Dolutegravir commonly referred to as TLD or Tenofovir alafenamide / Emtricitabine/ Dolutegravir commonly referred to as TAFED. These drugs are fixed into a tablet and given as one tablet per day,” he said.  

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