Out of an estimated total population of 45 million people, 1.4 million are said to be HIV positive according to UN statistics. Despite the donor’s efforts of seeking to fund Tanzania’s government’s scheme of providing free Anti-Retroviral (ARV’s) treatment to the affected citizens, it now emerges that these tremendous efforts might be rendered useless over the recent seizure of fake ARV dugs in circulation in the country.
In an interview conducted by BBC, Tanzania’s Health Minister Dr. Hussein Mwinyi clarified that he had indeed suspended three top government officials working at the Medical Stores Department (MSD) over allegations of being involved with the circulation of fake ARV’s in the country. “It’s now apparent that production of anti-retrovirals (ARVs) has been halted pending investigations into the matter,” said Mwinyi.
In a statement issued earlier by the Minister, all patients under the treatment had been urged to consider availing their medications for further testing and analysis to determine whether they had been subjected to the illegal act. He told BBC that his ministry wouldn’t tolerate any individual who would play around with the lives of Tanzanians. It was said that the Tanzania Police Force in conjunction with other security services who’re involved in the probe would take a stern action against anyone who shall be found guilty.
As Tanzania’s analysts raise concerns over the issue, the minister said that out of the possible 12,000 bottles with fake ARV batch numbers, 9,570 had already been successfully recalled for thorough scrutiny and examination.
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