Lack of material for CD4 counting
MBABANE – People in the Shiselweni region have complained about the inability to go for CD4 counting due to lack of relevant material.
The people claim to have been unable to know their condition regarding CD4 cells for about two months now.
They further claim that when they go to local clinics and hospital they do not get the help they need due to the alleged shortage of certain materials.
A resident of Nhlangano who spoke on condition of anonymity said they were now worried about their health condition.
He said this was creating difficulty for people who needed to be initiated on Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART).
Although the country was recently hit by a shortage of medical drugs and material, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Steven Shongwe said they are not aware of any shortage or stockout of reagents for CD4 count around Nhlangano.
Shongwe said there were delays in receiving results for people who went for CD4 count and attributed this to the upgrading of certain machinery.
"I have checked with the management of the clinical laboratory.ã€€We are not aware of any shortage or stockout of reagents for CD4 count around Nhlangano and Hlatikhulu.ã€€
"It is true thatã€€in the past few weeks,ã€€patients testing for HIV have experienced delays in receiving their results.
"This has been caused by the installation of a new IT networking system.ã€€It is not true thatã€€reagents are out of stock," he said. When asked about the consequences of unchecked CD4 count Shongwe said, "It is of course very important to monitor your CD4 countã€€at theã€€time of HIV diagnosis to determine whetherã€€or not Anti-retroviral treatment should be initiated." He said for now ART is initiated when CD4ã€€is at 350 or below.
"Also, during treatment and follow up of the patient, CD4 levels are an important indicator of response to the treatment," Shongwe added.
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