The Minister of Health and Social Services Dr Bernard Haufiku says the HIV mother-to-child transmission rate has reduced by 1.89 percent at six weeks and 4.1 percent overall, including the breastfeeding period.
“The success rate of the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) programme has resulted in 76 percent reduction in new paediatric HIV infections in the country,” Haufiku told parliament last week.
He said the health ministry has managed to maintain 86 percent antiretroviral coverage in the general population as set out in the National Strategic Framework targets.
Haufiku said millions have been saved on the costs of antiretroviral drugs after the ministry started to buy the medicines directly from manufacturers.
This, he said, cut out the middlemen “who were charging the government three times compared to our neighbouring countries with similar economic status”.
Furthermore, the health minister indicated that the central medical stores are being revamped with assistance from the Global Fund.
This would mean that there would be a better supply chain of pharmaceuticals and consumables for health facilities, he added.
“Private expertise will design the system and processes, and oversee the management thereof, and this will enhance the accessibility and supply of whatever medicine to patients everywhere. This will curb the massive wastage of pharmaceuticals,” said Haufiku.