By Winifred Bulus
Zambia has confirmed the shortage of HIV/AIDS drugs in some of its health centers to the activities of some medical personnel that smuggled the drugs to DR Congo.
This discovery was made by a District commissioner, Royd Chakaba, who was tipped off by some concerned medical workers that complained the shortage in the availability of the ARVs.
The commissioner also confirmed that a the sale of a month’s dosage fetches up to K5,000- 522 USD.
“We have information that some medical staff are stealing ARVs from the clinics, which they are selling in the DRC at K5,000 for a month’s dosage.
“In this syndicate, these medical personnel selling the drugs to people from Congo are instructing their buyers to return the used bottles which they refill and sell back to them.
“These ARVs get into this country at a huge cost. Smuggling them does not only deprive patients, but the government as well which has to keep replenishing stocks.
“Unscrupulous dealers think that now that the government’s attention to be focused on tracking and monitoring the illegal Mukula trade and Mealie meal smuggling, they can switch to something else…to ARVs,” he said.