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Septrin shortage to be dealt with in July, govt says

Hon. Sarah Achieng Opendi engages a panelist at the 4th German-African Healthcare Symposium in Berlin recently (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA: The scarcity of Septrin, an antibiotic commonly used on HIV patients, has put the lives of over 1.4million Ugandans living with AIDS at stake as Ministry of Health says the country can only expect a restock of the drug in July.

Dr Sarah Achieng Opendi, the state minister for Health cited a gap in funding as the main cause for the scarcity for the drug meant to boost the immune system of AIDS patients as well as fight infections like flu, diarrhoea, malaria among others.

Speaking to Members of Parliament on Tuesday, Ms Opendi said a supply is expected in July after receiving money from Global Fund which is one of the organisations the country relies on to fight Aids.

People living with Aids are concerned the shortage of this antibiotic will weaken their immune systems and and make them prone to other infections and diseases, a problem they didn’t see coming.

National Medical Stores spokesperson, Dan Kimosho (FILE PHOTO)

Speaking to PML DAILY, Dan Kimosho, the National Medical Stores spokesperson said NMS last supplied Septrin more than four months ago. “We hope to supply again in September as that is when the Global Fund promised to send us the drug.”

Some activists say the country’s failure to spend Global Fund grants has led to the scarcity of the drug in the country.

The highly demanded antibiotic, Septrin (NET PHOTO)

Global Fund carried out an audit in November last year and realised that millions of dollars were unspent despite the fact that drug shortage was still an issue in many health centres around the country.

“Septrin is known to be one of the cheapest drugs on the market and can be produced within the
country, Ministry of Heatlth should just check itself,” said an HIV prevention campaigner.

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