Eastern Cape HIV drug stock outs: patients at risk

Thousands of people living with HIV and TB still risk death and drug-resistance in the Eastern Cape due to ongoing interruptions to their supply of life-saving drugs. A new report released five months after a coalition consisting of the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP), Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and SECTION27 first raised the alarm about the crisis at the Mthatha medical depot, paints a grim picture.

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Monitoring Our Health: An analysis of the breakdown in health care services in selected Gauteng clinics and hospitals

On Monday, 4 March 2013, SECTION27 and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) launched the "Monitoring Our Health Report". SECTION27 and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) spent the past year interviewing…

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Report: Emergency Intervention at Mthatha Depot: The hidden cost of inaction

In early December, the Mthatha medical depot – serving more than 300 medical facilities in the North-eastern region of the Eastern Cape for medical supply needs – faced severe supply and delivery disruptions of life-saving HIV and tuberculosis [TB] treatment for over 100,000 patients. Stripped of 70% of its workforce due to suspensions in a labour dispute, the faltering management of the depot collapsed and critically compounded existing stock shortages at the depot, hospitals and clinics in the area. Orders had not been processed, supplies not received and, ultimately, drugs not dispensed to patients most in need. As a result, the danger of treatment interruption for HIV and TB patients was a perilous reality.
After Section27 and the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) received pleas for help from distressed health care workers on the ground and with the consent of the responsible health authorities, MSF and TAC started a coordinated response. MSF hired a temporary workforce and cleared the backlog of drug orders by coordinating stock reception, order processing and deliveries to affected facilities. TAC set up and maintained a drug stock-out hotline and monitoring network to help prioritise essential drug delivery to clinics. The Department of Health complemented the MSF/TAC intervention by sending three experienced pharmacists to assist at the Mthatha depot. Read the full report here

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Press statement: Systematic Problems in Drug Supply Have to be Addressed Now to Avert Future Crisis

After responding to a drug distribution crisis at Mthatha medical depot between 7 December and 24 January, the medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières /Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is handing all activities back to Eastern Cape health authorities. The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) will mobilize 25 volunteers to assist in the handover

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