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International News

Ghana to Expand Distribution of Antiretrovirals, Malaria Drugs Under Revised Health Care Guidelines

January 24, 2005

The Ghanaian government is planning a "big increase" in the number of HIV-positive people who receive antiretroviral drugs in the country under "tough new guidelines" recently issued for health care workers and a revised list of essential medicines, IRIN/Reuters AlertNet reports. The 517-page guidelines, issued as the government "prepares for a big hike" in health spending, aim to "deliver efficient treatment" at the lowest cost, according to IRIN/Reuters AlertNet. Included in the guidelines is an "ambitious plan" to increase the number of people receiving government-subsidized antiretrovirals at a cost of $6 million by 2006 -- four times the almost $1.5 million spent to provide 2,100 people with the drugs in 2004. Currently, the Ministry of Health spends $600 per person per month on antiretrovirals, while patients are charged only $5 for the treatments, according to IRIN/Reuters AlertNet. The health ministry also plans to "tackle" malaria, which affects at least three million people in the country annually, by replacing the current chloroquine treatment with the more expensive artesunate-amodiaquine as the first-line treatment, according to the country's Malaria Control Program. According to Sam Boateng, head of the health ministry's drug procurement division, the new treatments will cost $1.30 per patient -- an increase from the previous 10 cents per patient under the chloroquine regimen. "We hope there will be less malarial infections as we go along, and this should reduce the cost of buying antimalarial drugs," Boateng said. Current drugs used to treat tuberculosis in the country will remain unchanged while health care workers observe drug-resistant strains of the disease (IRIN/Reuters AlertNet, 1/17).

Back to other news for January 24, 2005


Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.



  
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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.
 
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