Producing ARVs locally vital
TREATMENT Advocacy and Literacy Campaign (TALC) says government’s plan to start the producing ARVs locally this year was very significant for the country.
TALC Executive Director Felix Mwanza explained that the production of local ARVs will come as a relief especially to the country’s treasury because Government will no longer spend huge sums of money to procure the drug from other countries.
Mr Mwanza observed that the move once achieved, will also enable people to have easy access to the medicines.
He noted that currently about 1.2 million people were on treatment and the new policy of ‘Test and Start’ will be perfectly implemented if the country starts producing ARVs locally.
“The country at the moment is constrained because it has to depend on cooperating partners in order to have the ARVs readily available. If the locally produced ARVs will be able to meet the required quality and standard, then Zambia will be able to export the medicines to neighbouring countries.” he said
Meanwhile Mr Mwanza on the other hand noted that safety and quality of the drugs by the manufacturers should be taken seriously because it involves the safeguarding of lives of over a million people.
Recently health minister Chitalu Chilufya revealed that Zambia would start manufacturing ARVs and other essential drugs by the end of the year.
Dr Chilufya said the country could attain epidemic control and by the year 2030 eliminat HIV/AIDS.