Botswana's AIDS Drug Program Lacks Capacity to Meet "Perpetual, Insatiable" Demand, Official Says
July 27, 2004
Botswana's antiretroviral drug program lacks the capacity to meet the country's "ever worsening, perpetual, insatiable demand," Ernest Darkoh, operations manager for the country's drug program, said at a U.N. fact-finding conference on Monday, Reuters reports. "We do not have the staff to deal with it ... [t]he critically ill and dying clog the system," Darkoh said, adding, "Those at the back of the queue we only get around to when they are also dying" (Baxter, Reuters, 7/26). The country's outdated health infrastructure and lack of health workers could be causes for the problem, Darkoh said at the U.N. Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa conference. Darkoh also said that the program's "phased rollout" strategy was problematic, according to the South African Press Association. "Our phased program was soon overwhelmed by critically ill," who "took five to six times the resources needed for those in the early phases of the disease," Darkoh said, adding, "The answer is to roll out quickly" (South African Press Association, 7/26).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.