Donor-funded drugs: Ticking time bomb

MACHEKE - Zimbabwe's continued dependence on foreign funded drugs to treat people living with HIV and Aids is a ticking time bomb that could have grave consequences on the nation if the donors pull out, a senior health expert warned.

Addressing journalists at a National Aids Council (Nac) workshop here last week, Natpharm’s representative Godfrey Tirivanhu described the situation that would prevail if the country’s major healthcare donors pulled out as “scary”.

“If somebody pulls out we will fall in our faces and when we are talking about people’s health it’s frightening,” Tirivanhu said.

For years Zimbabwe has depended on donors to fund its health programmes but the introduction of an Aids Levy on all workers provided Nac with another source of funding particularly for HIV treatment, albeit on a small scale.

At the workshop Tirivanhu allayed fears of the “worst” saying “Donors love this country so the likelihood of donors pulling out is not feasible”.

As more and more people lose their jobs the country received $36,1 million in its national Aids trust fund from the Aids levy down from $38,6 million in 2014.

And this is against an ARV drug burden of $8 million per month.

Currently, Nac which administers the fund is committing half of the revenue pool to drug purchases to compliment the Health ministry and donor partners.

Officials said even if all the money collected from the Aids levy was to be channelled towards drug purchasing the stocks would only last four months and will not include opportunistic infections.

Comments (2)

Generally,our policy makers have never taken the health service delivery issues with the seriousness they deserve,why? Most of the government chefs and their families are treated in health institutions based in overseas countries when ever they fall ill.So why should they bother about the local povo?

gen. spinola - 29 March 2016

This is indeed a time bomb but what makes it a better time bomb is that HIV does not have allegiance to any party. This is the time when Zimbabweans should wake up. With the supposedly trillions of dollars of minerals Zimbabwe should not be worried about donars. Amanda ngawethu

Makhulelendleleni - 30 March 2016

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