ARVs shortage looms: NAC 

Source: ARVs shortage looms: NAC – The Standard June 2, 2019

Brenna Matendere

Zimbabwe is facing serious shortages of life-saving HIV drugs following the devaluation of the local currency, which wiped away funds collected by the National Aids Council through the Aids levy.

NAC communications director, Madeline Dube, told journalists on Friday that Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s decision to ditch the 1:1 exchange rate between the bond notes and United States dollar had seen the funds for anti-retroviral drugs for the year being reduced fivefold.

“At the beginning of the year we had about $23 million in our account and that money was equivalent to US$23 million since the rate was at 1:1,” she said.

“But now with the devaluing of the bond notes currency and as it stands, that money is now about RTGS$5 million if you calculate using the inter-bank market rate.

“That is a serious crisis and the money is too little to purchase ARVs adequate to meet demand.

“We are faced with a situation where we are going to be hard-hit by the drugs shortages,” she said.

According to latest statistics released by NAC, 1,3 million people are living with HIV in the country and are in need of ARVs.

Of these, 1,249 million are aged above 15 years while 76 700 are children aged 14 and below.