Mozambique launches Brazil-funded drugs plant to battle HIV

Mozambique on Saturday launched a Brazilian funded pharmaceutical plant that will make anti-retroviral drugs to battle the HIV/AIDS scourge in the southern African country.

The factory -- built with $23 million in aid from Brazil and $4.5 million from that country's mining giant Vale -- will initially package drugs from Brazil but start producing the pills by the end of the year.

Mozambique has more than 2.5 million people living with HIV -- nearly 12 percent of the population -- but fewer than 300,000 of them now take anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs, according to the .

ARVs suppress the , reducing sickness and death rates as well as the transmission of the virus that causes AIDS.

Brazil's Vice President Michel Temer attended Saturday's launch of what is thought to be Africa's first fully public ARV factory in Matola, along with Mozambique's Industry and Commerce Minister Armando Inroga.

"As of now drugs which were manufactured in Brazil will be packaged here in Mozambique, certified and distributed to the Mozambican people," Temer said.

"There is an excellent partnership between the Brazilian and the Mozambican people and there is an absolute integration between the two countries in both public and private sectors."

In 2010 Brazil's then-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva visited the plant site and called it a "revolution" in Africa's fight against HIV/AIDS.

Brazil offers free ARV treatment to HIV-positive citizens, a programme that sparked controversy when it was announced in 1996 because of concerns about and violation of pharmaceutical copyright.

But it has since been praised as a model for the developing world. The World Bank estimates the free medicine saved more than half a million lives.

Mozambican technicians and other staff for the plant are now being trained, some of them in Brazil, through a partnership with the Brazilian public health institution A Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Cambodia village reports mass HIV/AIDS infection

Dec 16, 2014

Cambodian health authorities on Tuesday said more than 80 people—including children and the elderly—who tested positive for HIV/AIDS in a single remote village may have been infected by contaminated needles.

Occasional heroin use may worsen HIV infection

Dec 15, 2014

Researchers at Yale and Boston University and their Russian collaborators have found that occasional heroin use by HIV-positive patients may be particularly harmful to the immune system and worsens HIV disease, compared to ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.