AIDS Project Overhauling Mozambique´s Health System

MAPUTO, Mozambique, JULY 2, 2001 ( The Sant´Egidio Community of Rome has initiated a plan to combat AIDS in Mozambique, entailing an overhaul of the country´s health system.

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Launched in December with an investment of more than $1 million, the project provides for European doctors, members of Sant´Egidio, to work in Mozambique.

Leonardo Palombi, associate professor of epidemiology at Rome´s Tor Vergata University, is collaborating in the project. He said: «AIDS is literally mowing down the young African generations, the continent´s new forces. In the sub-Saharan area, there are 15 million people who are sick. In Mozambique, we have 1.25 million out of a population of 18 million.»

To keep down the costs, the project uses medicines with the same active ingredients as those of the best-known AIDS medicines, following an initiative carried out on a large scale in Brazil and India.

The project also has financed the restructuring of the country´s three main pharmaceutical laboratories, in the cities of Maputo, Beira and Nampula, especially in order to offer accurate blood analyses.

Health personnel will be trained, and hospital equipment modernized. Improvements will also be made in maternity departments. Each year, almost 25,000 of the country´s 800,000 newborns are seropositive.

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