He made this disclosure on Monday during a six-day capacity building convergence for People Living with HIV (PLHIV), which brought togther over thirty participants representing various AIDS support societies and groups across the country. The event was organised under the auspices of The Gambia Network of Aids Support Societies (GAMNASS) as part of the implementation of the ‘Stock Out Project (STOP)’ through support from the German Agency for International Corporation (GTZ), and International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC).
“A critical weakness relating to procurement and supply management identified is the low involvement of PLHIV in the selection and quantification of ARV’s and drugs for opportunistic infections and almost the non-existence of Medicines Safety Monitoring System in the country,” he indicated. The STOP project will allow Gamnass to conduct a rapid situational analysis, whose findings confirmed major concern in terms of quality of access to ARV’s services. The strategic service delivery information flow from National Aids Secretariat (Nas) to Gamnass and from GAMNASS to the support societies was found to be almost absent,”he said.
For his part, the minister of Health and Social Welfare reassured of The Gambia government’s undertaking to provide universal health coverage through partnership with appropriate stakeholders. He added: “This is all geared towards achieving universal health coverage and we cannot have universal health coverage if we don’t work with the right people involved. I want to assure you that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare will support your initiative.
Speaking on behalf of WHO country representative, Bakary Tijan Jaguraga said WHO issued its first consolidated guidelines for the use of Antiretroviral Drugs to treat and prevent HIV infection in 2013, noting that the guidelines are ambitious in their desired impact.
“The guidelines also take advantage of evidence demonstrating the multiple benefits of antiretroviral therapy. With the right therapy starting at the right time, people with HIV can now expect to live long and healthy lives. We are also able to protect their sexual partners and infants as the risk of transmitting the virus are greatly reduced.” He informed.
WHO estimated that the adaptation of these guidelines by countries will have an unprecedented impact on global implementation of the guideline and could avert additional 3 million deaths between now and 2025.]]>