In response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in China, AHF and its partners quickly stepped up efforts to get antiretroviral (ARV) medicines to those who need them by coordinating with health facilities in 16 Chinese provinces. Their actions expedited the delivery of medications directly to more than 121,000 AHF-managed clients, allowing them to continue HIV treatment uninterrupted.
“Patient-centered care is one of the most important principles at AHF – we were the first international organization to take immediate actions to guarantee treatment services for our patients after the COVID-19 outbreak in China,” said Dr. Yugang Bao, AHF Asia’s Deputy Bureau Chief. “We are proud to be standing strong and together with our partners and patients.”
AHF and partners began working on Feb. 5 to ramp up logistical efforts to deliver ARVs in an effort to keep clients from being exposed to COVID-19 during trips to their normal clinics. By the end of the campaign, teams had provided a three-month supply of ARVs to over 90% of AHF China’s clients.
“The current implementation of express delivery services of ARV drugs has worked very well—I’m glad to work with AHF China to fix the problem with direct solutions, rather than just raise questions,” added Duan Yi, a key community leader in China who was also pivotal in getting ARVs delivered to a Beijing-area hospital. “It’s impactful and impressive that the express delivery companies can reach the most areas, even in Wuhan where the virus originated.”
COVID-19 has so far spread to over 80 countries, total cases globally are quickly approaching 100,000 and the number of deaths outside China are now exceeding those within the country for the first time since the outbreak began on Dec. 31. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Tuesday that the global mortality rate caused by the virus is 3.4%.
AHF continues to call on WHO to declare COVID-19 a pandemic.