By DAISY TANIOVA PAWA
THE National AIDS Council Secretariat (NACS) has asked the National Planning and Monitoring Department for K6 million to buy antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for People Living with HIV (PLHIV) next year.
NACS chairman Sir Peter Barter said yesterday an urgent submission was given to the National Planning secretary Joseph Lelang.
Sir Peter said this was a precautionary measure he was taking to address the recent plight of the PLHIV, following the announcement from the Geneva-based United Nations office that PNG had missed out on Global Fund support for HIV/AIDS through its unsuccessful round nine application.
He said there were enough ARV drugs to cater for PLHIV until August this year, “thankfully due to an over estimation by the framers of previous Global Fund applications”.
Sir Peter said it was “adamant that all measures possible must be undertaken urgently by the Health Department and the NACS to secure financial support from all available sources to provide drugs for PLHIV, until the next budget cycle.”
He advised the Health Department and the director of NACS in the last council meeting to work together with development partners and secure funding from alternative sources.
Sir Peter was appreciative of the fact that purchasing of ARV drugs was conducted through the unicef and WTO procurement arrangements but called on Health Department officials to purchase the drugs direct from cheaper and efficient sources.