Rwanda acquires HIV drugs worth 8 billion Rwandan francs
The Ministry of Health on Wednesday January 19th acquired 349,393 bottles of Tenofovir/Lamivudine/Dolutegravir tablets (TLD – B/90), to be distributed to all Rwandans living with HIV/AIDS.
The tablets that were donated by USAID-Rwanda are worth $8 million and are expected to last a year.
The shipment of the drugs has been officially received by Rwanda Medical Supply Ltd (RMS), as part of the Transforming Rwanda Medical Supply Chain (TRMS) project.
According to a Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) survey in June 2020, HIV prevalence in Rwanda is 3% and 227,896 people are currently living with HIV.
Speaking to The New Times, Dr Corneille Ntihabose, head of the Department of Clinical and Public Health Services at the Ministry of Health, said the tablets received are a “three in one” treatment.
“This means that instead of taking three pills a day, the patient will only take one and one bottle is enough for three months,” he said.
Ntihabose added that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the distribution of HIV drugs has not been interrupted, adding that there are strategies in place in all health facilities in the country to help all patients with HIV. HIV in the country to access medicines in case of future interruptions. .
He added that 97% of all HIV-positive patients in the country take their medications correctly and regularly, and that taking these medications is a way to prolong their life, improve their health and reduce HIV-related deaths. .
“The remaining three percent are considered to be in high-risk groups like sex workers or people with multiple sex partners and that’s where we’re putting more effort into getting them to get tested regularly and receive medication accordingly,” he added.
USAID/Rwanda Health Bureau Director Robin Martz praised the country’s efforts to provide life-saving medicines to its population despite the challenges posed by the C0vid-19 pandemic.
“This shows dedication to providing quality, on time and affordable medicines to all Rwandans, and sets a global example that drug procurement is an approach that can be done efficiently and in a timely manner,”
“However, the work does not stop there, we must maintain the efficiency of getting these drugs to people who need them,” she added.
Shipping these drugs for the treatment of HIV was the first activity of the TRMS project.
The project which is expected to improve the efficiency of Rwanda’s health commodity supply chain has been allocated $75 million and will run over a period of five years.