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Congo Health Ministry Confirms No ARVs Currently Available In Country, IRIN Reports

IRIN examines the availability of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) in Congo, reporting that Germain Cephas Ewangui, chair of the Pan African Association Thomas Sankara (APTS), told the news agency there are no ARVs currently available in the country. The Ministry of Health and Population said “some 16,310 patients in Congo were receiving ARVs, while 38,500 are waiting to get them,” but it “acknowledged that ARV treatment had stopped,” the news agency writes. “‘There was a malfunction. There was a break in the supply and distribution chain, but the situation is being corrected,’ said Executive Secretary of the National Council for the Fight against AIDS (CNLS) Marie-Francke Puruehnce,” according to IRIN. “A consultant from the Ministry of Health, who requested anonymity, told IRIN: ‘Such failures sometimes happen once or twice a year. But they do not last long,'” the news agency writes, noting, “Interruption of ARV therapy risks patients developing resistance to the drugs and can hasten progress to AIDS and death” (9/2).