Hospitals and health centers in Yumbe district have been hit by a scarcity of anti-retroviral drugs for people living with HIV.
Dr. Joseph Mwanje, the Yumbe Hospital Medical Superintendent, says the scarcity of the anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) has lasted for more than two months. He says patients in need have been forced to return to their homes disappointed by delays in supply of drugs from the National Medical Stores.
Yumbe Hospital has 644 registered patients living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. All the registered patients receive free ARVs through the hospital.
Terrence Dima, the medical officer in charge of the Yumbe Hospital laboratory, says HIV prevalence in the district is highest among expectant mothers. He says data indicates that the woman, most of them first-time mothers, contract HIV during conception.
Dima reveals fears that if the ARV scarcity persists the lives of patients may be endangered beyond recovery.
The chairperson of the Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Yumbe, Abdulatif Aluma, claims that two Yumbe Hospital patients have been killed since the ARV shortage begun. He appeals to the district health authorities to address the matter with urgency.