The Commission on Administrative Justice known as the Office of the Ombudsman wants the Ministry of Health to clear the air over widely-circulated reports on the acute shortage of Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs).
The commission has specifically given the ministry seven days to furnish the commission with a status report on the progress made towards the release of the ARV drugs that are stuck at the port awaiting clearance.
In a letter to the Ministry of Health, the Ombudsman chairperson also demanded to know the status of rapid test kits and the delay in dispensing the same to people living with HIV and AIDS.
“This has occasioned untold suffering and threatens the PLWHA’s right to life and highest attainable standard of health which includes right to healthcare services,” read the letter that was signed by the commission’s chairperson Hon. Florence Kajuju.
The commission advised that the information should be disclosed to the public proactively as per the requirements of the Access to Information Act.
“This is information that is in the public interest and should also be disclosed to the public,” Kajuju said.
The demand by the ombudsman comes just days after the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya expressed concern over a crisis caused by a diplomatic row pitting the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health, and Finance.
Similarly, section of Member of Parliaments in Nyanza region raised red flag warning that the situation has put the lives of thousands of patients at risk in the Nyanza region due to shortage of ARVs.