The Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa) reported 29 types of ARV drugs in 24,800 packs to 31 counties on Thursday.
The Sh 1.2 billion drugs included drugs that had been withdrawn from circulation in the country in 2019.
HIV-positive patients were treated with other first-line drugs after reporting side effects of the drugs.
Another broadcast was made shipped from yesterday to the remaining 16 counties
The phasing out drug is zidovudine / lamivudine / nevirapine. The Ministry of Health stated that nevirapine would no longer be used in Kenya by December 2019.
However, the adult tablets that had been declared unfit for use have been re-given to patients, the nation has found / p>
The deregistered drugs came from an old inventory donated by the Global Fund and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and had been in storage for months.
At a stakeholder meeting in March last year, Kemsa stated that it had destroyed packaging for the drugs and that they were no longer in stock.
Some drug users have warned that the Government is dangerous as some of the drugs are toxic.
“We are surprised that the drugs are still in storage after we have been told they have been destroyed. It is better to wait for the right medication than to take toxic drugs, “said Nelson Otwoma, National Coordinator of the National Empowerment Network of People Who Live with HIV / AIDS.
” Where do you take leaking drugs, you think we don’t know what we’re taking? Why did they keep the drugs? “Mr. Otwoma posed.
Ms. Maureen Murenga, activist and executive director of the Lean on Me Foundation, said the government shouldn’t politicize people’s health.
” It’s heartbreaking that we have a component of drugs that had been withdrawn because of their inferior strength, Kemsa had previously told us that they had destroyed what they had in store, but the list of drugs we posted last week , contained this drug, “said Ms. Murenga.
” It’s scary because it is given to people who have been on a stronger version of antiretroviral therapy and we don’t know what it will lead to, “she added .
Nevirapine was given as a single drug or as part of a combination of three fixed dose drugs.
The most common side effects are abdominal pain, rash, and tiredness , Headaches, vomiting and muscle aches gone after a month.
However, it has been linked to liver damage in some people and is seeing increasing resistance in many countries.
All HIV countries with high exposure in sub-Saharan Africa introduced dolutegravir-based ART as the preferred first-line regimen and discontinued nevirapine.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended DTG for the first time as an alternative first-line regimen for adults and adolescents in Year 2015.
The International Health Agency stated that treatment with nevirapine had an unacceptably high failure rate and needed to be changed.
In a survey by The WHO in 2019 reported that 12 of Eighteen countries reported drug resistance levels prior to treatment that exceeded the recommended threshold of 10 percent.
The National AIDS and STI Control Program (Nascop) made a statement claiming that this was unleashed Nevirapine is used as infant prophylaxis for HIV-exposed infants (HEIs) in children born to HIV-positive mothers who are still breastfeeding to reduce the risk of HIV transmission.
“Hence, this NVP is intended to prevent mother-to-child transmission and not to treat children,” the statement reads.
However, those in attendance during the flag drop said the nevirapine – Medicines are tablets. and not syrups.
“We have been asking the government to release the children’s medicines for over a year and have we always been told they will be shipped? When did you come to the country? Last week we were told they were going to be flown, why are they playing games with Kenyans? “Mr. Otwoma asked.
” Is it really practical to say that there are no drugs, then someone somewhere says that the drugs that were de-registered were for children? We haven’t had infant drugs in almost a year, ”he added.
The Nation also learned that nevirapine syrup was part of the shipment due at the port of Mombasa the tax stalemate between the government and USAid.
The donor insists that they will only release the medication once all the sticking points have been resolved, which puts those who urgently need the medication into limbo. < / p>
“It is important to clarify that the drugs referenced in the parliamentary testimony are in fact from a different donor, the Global Fund, and not USAid. As the largest contributor to the Global Fund, the United States is proud that we can once again help the people of Kenya. USAid’s donation by the American people for medicines and medical supplies stuck in the port of Mombasa will remain with USAid until our deliberations are concluded, ”the US embassy spokesman told the nation .
According to document 258,954 packs of tenofovir, lamivudine dolutegravir (TLD) are in the port. The shipment arrived on January 18th.