By Lucy Kopana – EMTV News, Lae
Coordinator of the Anua Moriri Day Care Centre in Lae, Sr. Kwim Nicholas, says they have enough antiretroviral (ART) drugs in stock to last until the end of May. This follows reports on the shortage of the ART drugs in the country, which are administered to patients living with HIV/AIDS.
Sr. Nicholas says, as the coordinating facility for the Morobe Province, they distribute the drugs accordingly to the ART sites for them to manage on a weekly and monthly basis. The ART treatment helps to improve a patient’s immune system. It is a lifelong treatment that is given daily, in different combinations of the tablets; the single, double and triple combinations.
According to Sr. Nicholas, it is the triple combination of Tenofovir, Lamivudine and Efavirenz tablets that are running short. She said in the event that the clinic runs out of the triple combination, they can still administer the single and dual combinations of treatment.
“There are other regimes. We can always switch because we cannot let the patients go without ART because they have to get ART everyday,” Sr. Nicholas said.
The Day Care centre sees up to forty patients daily, with an increasing number of cases. At the moment, there are one thousand, two hundred and eighty-one (1,281) patients in Lae who are on ART treatment. Sr. Nicholas says there should be enough ART drugs in stock to last until the end of next month.