Activists urge govt to resolve HIV drugs shortage amid COVID-19 pandemic

first_img“There is no guarantee that the airline will resume operations after two weeks. If the ministry decides to use another airline, they should make sure that the documents are taken care off, so the customs office won’t hold them up from entering the country,” he said.Read also: Lengthy AGO investigation blamed for ARV shortageIn the meantime, the government had only started ARV drugs procurement using the state budget. However, the National Public Procurement Agency (LKPP) has yet to reveal who is the tender winner for the project.“Even if they announce the bid winner, we will face a similar obstacle since the medicine still needs to be imported from India,” said Aditya. Topics : The activist demanded the Health Ministry start identifying necessary medicines for both the AIDS rehabilitation program as well as the general public, and ensure their availability.“Authorities need to gather all stakeholders to gain insights, as well as to map the potential COVID-19 effect on medicine supplies in Indonesia. This way, the government will know which medicine can be produced locally and which should be imported from other countries.”Read also: Tackling HIV stigma amid LGBT+ ‘moral panic’The government should also cooperate with the Indonesian Medical Association to promote the rational use of medicine in order to save available supplies. “The government should use this opportunity to fix its roadmap to strengthen the local pharmaceuticals industry so it will stop depending on imported medicines,” Aditya added.HIV patients in Indonesia have recently decried the shortages of ARV drugs, which are provided for free by the Health Ministry. The ministry procures the drugs through importers PT Kimia Farma and PT Indofarma.It is the second time in the past two years that supplies have been depleted at hospitals and clinics, forcing patients to make adjustments that may risk their health.center_img Civil society groups assisting HIV patients in the country have urged the Health Ministry to pay attention to the supply of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for such patients, who have been affected by the global COVID-19 outbreak.“The Health Ministry should think about how COVID-19 affects ARV drug availability,” Indonesia AIDS Coalition executive director Aditya Wardhana said in a statement on Friday.The ministry has purchased the drugs from India using a grant from the Global Fund. However, the shipments are expected to be delayed since the airline assigned to deliver the drugs to Indonesia has canceled its flight for the past two weeks because of the pandemic.last_img read more

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