The Minister of Health Steven Malinga has said that the Anti Retroviral drugs (ARVs) may be produced locally soon.
Malinga told Parliament that government has started discussing with some foreign companies on the possibility of producing the ARVs locally. He however dismissed reports that there were ARVs being produced locally.
Malinga also allayed the fears of the MPs that there was a looming shortage of ARVs in the country saying that the stocks for the next three months are already here.
//Cue in: iWe usually have our stocks#
Cue out: #so far we are not doing it.i//
However Usuk MP Charles Oleny challenged the Minister saying in one of the hospitals in his constituency, 187 HIV/AIDS patients eligible for ARVs but cannot be brought on board because of the shortage. Oleny said that that medical officer in charge of the hospital has spent two months trying to get ARVs from the National Medical Stores but all in vain.
Malinga promised to come back to Parliament next week with detailed information of the number of people infected in the country, how many are on ARVs and the stocks of ARVs available.
ARVs is the main type of treatment for HIV/ AIDS. It is not a cure, but it can stop people from becoming ill for many years. The treatment consists of drugs that have to be taken every day for the rest of someone's life.