MUTARE - A three-week nurses’ strike has forced people on anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) to default on their treatment, an HIV and Aids rights groups has said.
Zimbabwe National Network of People Living with HIV (ZNNP+) and Family AIDS Support Organisation officials told the Daily News yesterday that some of their members have gone for days without ARVs as the staff are failing to manage the huge numbers of patients.
Adherence to anti-retroviral therapy is essential for maximising individual treatment outcomes and preventing the development of drug resistance.
“The clinics particularly in Sakubva are overwhelmed by the number of people who need to be resupplied with ARVs and the staff on the ground is failing to cope,” ZNNP+ Manicaland provincial coordinator Lloyd Dembure said.
“We seriously think the situation is dire enough to warrant the intervention of the Health minister because if we are not careful, a lot of progress we have made over the years may be undone...”, Dembure said.
“ARV treatment should be 100 percent and there is obviously a huge risk of many people developing resistance to their medication if the situation is not reigned in soon,” the ZNNP+ official said.
FASO director Casper Pound said one patient whose drugs ran out on March 15, was turned away from Mutare City Clinic in spite of assurances by the acting medical director Simon Mashavave.