Gov­ern­ment is play­ing with lives

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - OPINION -

So, the Na­tional De­part­ment of Health be­lieves it has “re­as­sured” its pa­tients liv­ing with HIV/Aids that the short­age of anti-retro­vi­ral drugs (ARVs) will end by the mid­dle of next month. The prob­lem is, some of those who are de­pen­dent on ARVs might not have the grace of a month. Some have been on the life-pro­long­ing drugs for more than a decade and there is a real pos­si­bil­ity that they will re­lapse if de­prived of them.

Some of those we spoke to this week told us they feared that, even if they did not die within the next month, the ARVs might not work in their bod­ies once treat­ment was re­sumed. This would lead to kid­ney or heart fail­ure, they be­lieved.

Whether or not they are cor­rect, the re­al­ity is that the short­age of ARVs has been al­lowed to de­velop through yet an­other in­stance of gov­ern­ment mis­man­age­ment, al­though a world­wide short­age of some of the ac­tive in­gre­di­ents in the medicines has played a role.

Yet again, though, our gov­ern­ment lurches from cri­sis to cri­sis with “fire­fight­ing” man­age­ment the or­der of the day.

In this case, the lives of some of the most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple are on the line.

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