Stop rationing ARVs-Chikusu tells health institutions

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Deputy Minister of Health Patrick Chikusu has assured HIV positive people who are on antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) that their treatment will not be interrupted because the country now has enough medicine in stock.


Dr. Chikusu said about 500, 000 packets of navirapine have already arrived in the country while 500 and 000 more were expected to arrive soon.


He has since directed health institutions in the country to stop rationing the drug.


He urged end users to make their orders as soon as possible adding that Medical Stores should also urgently distribute the drug to health facilities.


And on tuberculosis (TB) drugs, Dr. Chikusu said tenders to procure more medicine were in progress hence the country should be assured of good stock.


He said this in Lusaka yesterday when he toured Levy Mwanawasa General and Chainama hospitals.


Dr. Chikusu is on a presidential directive to get first hand information on how the strategic health plan, which was implemented in 2011, is progressing in all hospitals across the country.


He has since started his tour of hospitals with Lusaka province before spreading it out to hospitals in other provinces.


The Deputy Minister noted that government would also want to acquaint itself with the many challenges that health institutions in the country were faced with in order for it to provide permanent solutions.


Dr. Chikusu has meanwhile dismissed the myths that psychiatric was a communicable disease.


He said the ailment is a non communicable disease therefore anyone can suffer from it.


He further advised people to desist from discriminating against those that suffer from it.


Dr. Chikusu also disclosed plans to elevate Chainama Hills Hospital to a training hospital in order to have more people trained as psychiatrists.


Currently, the hospital only has two professional psychiatrists.