HIV positive and TB patients must be given medication that can last them for over three months to prevent frequent visits to health centres, a National Aids Council (Nac) official has said.
Most health facilities are attending to emergency cases following the outbreak of Covid-19.
The lockdown that started on March 30 and ends on May 3 has seen restrictions being imposed on the movement of people.
Staying at home and social distancing measures help in mitigating the spread of the pandemic.
Patients with underlying conditions including those with HIV and TB are at high risk in the event that they test Covid-19 positive.
In an interview yesterday, Nac Bulawayo Provincial Coordinator Mrs Sinatra Nyathi said in order to decongest health facilities during the Covid-19 pandemic, patients with underlying conditions should stock up their medication.
She said health centres must give patients three months’ supply of medication and if there are challenges, Nac can help in addressing some of the challenges.
“We are encouraging that HIV and TB patients should ensure they have supply of their medications for three months to avoid movement to and from homes to health facilities.
“This will help decongest the health facilities and as a way of helping our clients to be at peace under lockdown,” she said.
Mrs Nyathi said as these patients have underlying conditions, they are at high risk if they test positive for Covid-19.
“TB and HIV clients already have underlying conditions and their immune system is already compromised so we want to prevent them from contracting Covid-19 by all means possible. We also urge them to frequently wash hands with soap and running water, clean surfaces with soap and to use sanitisers where possible,” she said.
Mrs Nyathi said HIV and TB patients should take note of the information being rolled out by health authorities and Government.
“The virus (coronavirus) can affect anyone and as patients who have underlying conditions it is wise to keep in touch with health authorities,” she said.