National Pharmaceutical Company is stretched for funds to
purchase antiretroviral drugs for the government's treatment
of HIV patients, the state-controlled Herald
newspaper reports. Zimbabwe is experiencing food,
fuel, and foreign currency shortages and an almost
1,000% inflation rate. International sanctions have been
levied over claims of political repression in
Zimbabwe, which President Robert Mugabe denies.
pharmaceutical firm is Zimbabwe's main medicine repository.
Of the $7.4 million it requested from the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe between January and March, just $106,000
has been allocated, the Herald reports.
"There are 20,000
people on the antiretroviral national program, and we
have less than a month's supply of the vital drugs, and that
is not encouraging," Charles Mwaramba, the company's
acting director, was quoted as telling a group of
visiting members of parliament.
minister David Parirenyatwa nor Mwaramba was available for
that drugs are also competing with other items like
fuel for foreign currency, but the picture is not
encouraging," said Mwaramba. A grant from the Global
Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria to
provide anti-HIV drugs to another 25,000 patients will not
be available until January. Drugs to ease pain and
treat tuberculosis and high blood pressure are also
scarce, he said.
private hospitals boosted patient fees by 100% to 1,000%,
and two major government hospitals were forced to
ration food after a food supplier stopped deliveries
over an unpaid debt. (Reuters)