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South Africa Facing ARV Shortages, NGOs Warn In New Report

“One in five South African clinics are running short of life-saving HIV/AIDS drugs, affecting nearly half a million people and undermining the success of the world’s largest treatment program, medical charities said on Thursday,” Reuters reports (Motsoeneng, 11/28). The Stop Stock Outs project, a coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Treatment Action Campaign, and the Rural Doctors Association of South Africa, released the report (.pdf), IRIN notes (11/29). “According to the report, mismanagement by the municipal health department has resulted in stacks of the antiretroviral (ARV) drugs used to treat HIV infection lying in storage while patients are turned away from clinics,” Al Jazeera states. “The South African government has made major investments to provide ARV pills to the many people who rely on the drug for their survival,” the news service adds (Motema, 11/30). “The health ministry acknowledged some problems but said MSF was exaggerating the situation,” Reuters notes (11/28).