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COVID-19 crisis: Health Principal Secretary confirms shortage of ARVs, plight of health workers.

Friday, 3rd July, 2020

MBABANE: Dr Simon Zwane, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health has confirmed that government might soon run short of Antiretroviral (ARVs) as the COVID-19 crisis intensify.

This comes after this Swaziland News published a story where Bheki Mamba, the President of the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) disclosed in an exclusive interview that government was now using ARVs to treat COVID-19 patients and might soon run short of supply, he also warned that the situation was getting worse. 

Responding to questions from this publication on the subject matter, the PS confirmed the sentiments of the nurses President that the country might soon run short of ARVs saying currently, they were at low levels. 

“We do have some second line ARVs that are at low levels, this is unfortunately out of our control. Manufacturers of some of these medicines have indicated short supplies of raw material such as the APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredient). They have committed to delivering by 20 July” he said.

The PS further confirmed that the rising number of health workers who get infected with COVID-19 was causing disturbance to the operations of the country’s health system.

“On the issue of health workers getting infected by coronavirus, it is true that it brings significant disturbance on the work-flow and ultimately compromising service delivery. We should all work hard to minimize that by adhering to the procedures on the use of PPEs as well as the general pre-cautions. The Ministry of Health is concerned about this reality and greatly appreciates the selflessness our frontline workers are demonstrating in this response at different levels” said the PS.

COVID-19 crisis: Health Principal Secretary confirms shortage of ARVs, plight of health workers.
Health PS Dr Simon Zwane