India government donates Antiretroviral drugs worth Sh160m
The Indian High Commission in Kenya has donated Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs to the Ministry of Health worth Sh160 million.
Receiving the donation at Afya House, Health (CAS) Dr Rashid Aman said the ARVs will support HIV patients for a month.
“The drugs will benefit at least 10,000 patients across the country,” said Dr Aman.
Dr Aman said HIV-Aids patients and those with other chronic diseases are most vulnerable in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic thus the Ministry is working around the clock to protect them. Kenya has recorded 715 Covid-19 cases of which 36 have died as of May 12.
Large proportion of people with underlying health conditions such as HIV, TB and non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes are at an increased risk of developing severe Covid-19.
On the possible shortage of drugs and other essential drugs, Aman said the Ministry was upbeat the supply chain would remain intact apart from the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
“ARVs and other essential drugs not related to Covid-19 are available but if there is shortage, it’s regrettable,” he said.
High Commissioner Rahul Chhabra commended Kenya for its measures to fight the spread of Covid-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed fear of the shortage of medical products and critical drugs.
Executive Director (WHO) Michael Ryan has said all elements of the supply chain have been disrupted in recent weeks and this has affected the health sector.
This is due to difficulties in shipping and the world did not have security stockpiles in place.
The coronavirus outbreak in China caused supply hitches for Chinese drug-ingredient manufacturers resulting in curtailed production and shipment.
India is the global leader in generic drug production while China is the world’s largest supplier of active pharmaceutical ingredients.
In early March, India restricted exports of 13 Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and the drug formulations made from them to protect itself against domestic shortages.
Meanwhile, private sector under Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) donated goods worth millions of shillings to the Ministry of Health in fight against Covid-19.