Nearly about 13000 People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Manipur is in dilemma and many of them are running from post to pillar to manage the daily dose of their life-saving drugs — ART, which ran out of stock in all the ART center in State since April this year.
This issue of ART being unavailable in all centers across the state emerges after the State AIDS Control Society (SACS) failed to procure this important Life-Saving Medicine and maintained a buffer stock (for 6 months) under the NACO (National AIDS Control Organisation) Guidelines.
Earlier NACO used to supply the medicines, however, the state SACS has been asked to procure the medicine (ART) from the financial year 2022-23. And the state SACS is yet to procure the highly needed medicine for PLWHAs.
This ART Crisis in Manipur came to light after leaders and chief functionaries from the Manipur’s pioneer NGOs working in the field, namely Manipur Network for Positive People (MNP +), Social Awareness Service Organisation (SASO), CARE Foundation, Kripa Society collectively highlighted the woes face by the people on ART treatment.
“This present situation has drastically affected more than 13000 ART patients in the state and compromised the adherence aspect of ART Consumers”, said MNP + President L Deepak. And the President of the Kripa Society, Hijam Dinesh informed that the authority has turned a deaf ear, even after repeated appraisal.
“If concern authority fails to heed this calls without any immediate steps or arrangements, then the life of more than 13000 people would be at stake”, said Care Foundation”, Secretary Jotin Thangjam.
The present situation has created a fear psychosis among the services providers and staff in the ART centers, mostly in JNIMS and RIMS ART Center which is the center of excellence in the State, after patient demand became high and questioned the reason for availability.
Manipur has a total of nearly 13 ART centers that provide ART medicine to nearly about 13000 ART patients spread across the district.