PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Immediate action required to solve thesystemic crisis at Mthatha Medical Depotand to save patients’ lives.
Issued by: The BEMF, RHAP, TAC, RuDASA, Southern African HIVClinicians Society and MSF. Date: 28 November 2012
The Budget Expenditure Monitoring Forum (BEMF), the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP), the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), theRural Doctors Association of Southern Africa (RuDASA), Médecins SansFrontières’ (MSF) and the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society (TheSociety) are deeply concerned by widespread stock outs at health facilitiesin the Eastern Cape, which have been caused by the collapse of themedicines supply chain from the Mthatha Medical Depot.We call on the National Department of Health, the Eastern CapeDepartment of Health and provincial leadership, including the MEC for Health and the Premier, to take urgent action to restore the supply of medicines to facilities served by the depot and to deal with rampantmismanagement and corruption at the facility. This will require bringing inessential medicines from other parts of the country with immediate effect.The Mthatha Depot has been functioning sub-optimally for many years, butsince the beginning of October 2012, the situation with the supply of medicines has been at crisis point and our organisations have beenreceiving regular reports of critical shortages of a broad range of medicinessuch as antibiotics and ARVs. Based on information available to us weestimate that at least 160 medicines are either in dire shortage or areunavailable at facilities served by this depot.Critically, on this list are ARVs that form part of 1
line HIVtreatment regimens. These drugs include: