HIV patients in the country can now sigh in relief after the standoff that had seen a consignment of drugs held at the Mombasa port resolved.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe last week sought approval for the drugs that have been lying at the Port on Mombasa since January over a Sh90 million tax row.
The stand-off came after USAID, who sponsors the commodities, eschewed Kemsa and sent ARVs and test kits to Kenya through a private US company, Chemonics International.
Some of the commodities that were being held include HIV testing, treatment and prevention utilities such as ARVs, laboratory reagents as well as TB diagnostic and prevention medications.
“The current scenario was not anticipated, and the government only got to know about the likelihood of delayed supply late in January. USAID is expected to hand over the same for distribution through the established systems,” Kagwe said.
ARVs Shortage in Kenya
Kenya has been experiencing an acute shortage of Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs since January, which has hit public hospitals and greatly affected people living with HIV/Aids.
Some laboratories had also stopped taking samples for HIV testing due to a shortage of testing kits, reagents, and Dried Blood Spots (DBS) bundles.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had raised an alarm saying nearly 70 countries were at risk of running out of HIV/Aids drugs due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has interrupted supplies.