Access to Antiviral medicines are severely impacted by COVID-19

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As per WHO, Seventy-three countries have warned that they are at risk of stock-outs of antiretroviral (ARV) medicines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Survey conducted by WHO suggested that Twenty-four countries reported having either a critically low stock of ARVs or disruptions in the supply of these life-saving medicines. 

An estimated 8.3 million people were benefited from ARVs  in 2019 and now 24 countries  experiencing supply shortages. This represents about one third (33%) of all people taking HIV treatment globally.  While there is no cure for HIV, ARVs can control the virus and prevent onward sexual transmission to other people.

In wake of Covid-19 pandemic entire supply chain is paralysed. A failure of suppliers to deliver ARVs on time and a shut-down of land and air transport services, coupled with limited access to health services within countries as a result of the pandemic, were among the causes cited for the disruptions in the survey.

The findings of this survey are deeply concerning,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Countries and their development partners must do all they can to ensure that people who need HIV treatment continue to access it. We cannot let the COVID-19 pandemic undo the hard-won gains in the global response to this disease.

Reference:  WHO website

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