Inter Press Service (Johannesburg) (02.14.12) - Tuesday,
Burkina Faso's Network for Access to Essential Medicines
(RAME) is urging the government to commit the funding
necessary to ensure the uninterrupted supply of AIDS treatment
and testing supplies. In January, the government announced an
emergency infusion of about 1 billion CFA francs (US $2
million) to procure AIDS drugs.
However, permanent measures are needed, advocates said. Many
AIDS associations are no longer putting new patients on ARVs
due to limited stock.
"It was good to see the government recognize its
responsibility ... but it's not enough given the need to
continue to put new people into treatment regimes as well as
maintain care for older patients," said Simon Kabore, RAME's
coordinator. Some people died waiting for treatment, and for
several months current patients could not get their regular
monitoring at health centers, Kabore said.
If nothing is done by Mar. 31, disruptions will affect both
the registration of new patients and those currently in
treatment, said Andre Joseph Tiendrebeogo, permanent secretary
of the government's National Council for the Fight Against
AIDS and STIs.
"We stopped new enrollments at the end of 2010, and we have
lost a dozen patients because most of those ill who received
care for free are in the informal sector and cannot take over
the payments," said Martine Somda of the patient association
REVS+, which is based in the western city of Bobo-Dioulasso.
For several months, 60 people could not access ARVs due to
insufficient stock, Somda said. Testing supplies to evaluate
patients on treatment, such as for CD4 count and liver
function, also need to be rebuilt, as they are in danger of
running short, she said.