Row over food for HIV, TB patients

THE Treatment Action Campaign in KwaZulu-Natal is again up in arms over the health department's failure to supply nutritional porridge to HIV-Aids and TB patients.

THE Treatment Action Campaign in KwaZulu-Natal is again up in arms over the health department's failure to supply nutritional porridge to HIV-Aids and TB patients.

Hospitals and clinics have apparently not received the food packs for the past two months.

It is believed that the programme has been stopped due to the heavy financial burden that has crippled the department. But the department rejected claims that the programme had run out of food.

However, field workers claimed that more than 100000 HIV-Aids and TB patients were going hungry. They said patients were queuing at hospitals and clinics in Pietermaritzburg and Durban to collect their medication, but nutrition packs were not available.

TAC community health advocacy trainer Mthokozisi Luthuli said halting the supply of the nutritious porridge was "putting people's lives at high risk".

Department spokesperson Chris Maxon said the contract to supply porridge was for three months.

"Allegations that clinics and hospitals have run dry are false and unfounded. No clinic has indicated shortages," said Maxon.

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