HIV risk for infants as Bungoma hospital runs out of drugs

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Infants are at risk of getting HIV infection from their mothers through breastfeeding after their Nevirapine syrup ran out of stock in Bungoma County.

Speaking to the media on Friday, the hospital’s medical superintendent, David Wanikina confirmed the matter adding that the facility will only receive emergency supply from Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital that may last for a few days.

“There is a small stock that is running low, but we are expecting supply on Saturday from Moi Teaching Referral Hospital, as we expect Kenya Medical Supply Authority (KEMSA) to supply next week,” said Dr Wanikina.

The county has 136 facilities; 11 hospitals, 78 dispensaries, 16 health centers, 27 medical clinics, and 134 community units.

“There is no Nevirapine syrup at the county hospital, but we have been told to try and get the drugs from the chemist by nurses, yet we do not have money,” complained a patient who sought anonymity.

The Health CS Sicily Kariuki on Friday said the country has sufficient stock and there is no risk of shortage.

Civil society groups working on HIV advocacy Programmes have said that the situation is deteriorating all over the country.

“We are concerned with the lack of HIV prophylaxis for children in some of the health facilities. We ask NASCOP to act with speed and ensure we have enough supplies,” said Maureen Murenga, the executive director of Lean on Me, an advocacy organization on AIDS issues.

The National Aids and STIs Programme (NASCOP) however downplayed the shortage, adding that it is yet to receive reports of shortage.

ART works by keeping the level of HIV in the body low. This lets the immune system recover and stay strong.

Keeping the viral load low also helps to prevent HIV being passed on. 

With good healthcare and treatment, many people with HIV are living just as long as people who don’t have HIV.

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