Only weeks after King Mswati III of Swaziland said that he would personally wipe out the HIV virus in his kingdom, local media have reported a ‘panic’ as ARV drugs ran out.
The King, who has been mocked around the world for his claim to be able to rid Swaziland of HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS, made his claim in a speech opening the Swazi Parliament.
ARVs are drugs used to help people who are living with the HIV virus.
The Times of Swaziland newspaper reported on Wednesday (4 March 2015), ‘People living with HIV/AIDS countrywide have been gripped by panic after reports that health facilities have run out of ARVs.
‘The situation is said to have been prevailing for the past four days and patients were turned away at the country’s health facilities, with some even being told to get the drugs from South African health facilities.
‘The country has run out of a drug known as Kaletra.’
The newspaper reported, ‘It is not the first time that the country has run short of ARVs in some health facilities.’
King Mswati, who rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, had told his parliament, ‘I wish to assure the nation that I will personally see to it that the first world Swaziland is HIV /AIDS free.’
The reference to ‘first world’ was widely interpreted to mean the King would wipe out HIV / AIDS by 2022; the year he has declared that Swaziland will become a First World country.
MEDIA BACK KING’S FALSE HIV PROMISE