Health Minister Dr. Chitalu Chilufya has disclosed that the number of people on anti-retroviral drugs in Lusaka has increased from 70 to 86 percent.
And Dr Chilufya says government is on the right track to ensuring that there is universal access to safe drugs manufactured locally.
A multi-million dollar antiretroviral (ARV) and malaria drug-manufacturing plant has been commissioned in the Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone to ease people’s access to the medicines.
Commissioning the US$9 million Mylan Pharmaceuticals Company Limited plant on Thursday evening, Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya said Government has made significant strides in fighting HIV/AIDS in the country.
“Government has started strengthening the supply chain of ARVs to enhance control of HIV/AIDS. We have increased the number of people on ARVs from 70 to 86 percent since the beginning of the `test and treat programme’,” Dr Chilufya said.
The health minister says the pharmaceutical manufacturing facility presents an opportunity for investors to offer their pharmaceutical products to neighboring countries and throughout the continent and beyond considering that Zambia is now a land linked country.
He has since stated that government through the ministry of health is on track to attain the targets of epidemic control of HIV/AIDS through strengthening local manufacturing of drugs and strengthening the local supply of ARVS.
Meanwhile United States Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote has called for transparency and accountability in the management of drugs and funding in the health sector as a way of attracting more investments in the sector.
And Mylan President Ravij Malik has emphasized that Mylans global HIV initiative is one of the company’s key priorities.