Brazil offers drug factory to AIDS-ravaged Mozambique
Tue May 29, 5:57 AM ET REUTERS
Brazil has offered to build a $23 million pharmaceutical plant in Mozambique that will provide drugs to treat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, Mozambique's national newspaper said on Tuesday.
Brazil, a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer, will monitor quality and transfer technology to the proposed plant, which would produce a range of drugs, including generic antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to fight HIV/AIDS, Noticias reported.
The plan was presented to the Mozambique government by Brazil's ambassador in the southern African nation.
Mozambique, one of the poorest nations on the continent, is struggling to find the money to rebuild its dilapidated health-care system, which was neglected during a 17-year civil war that ended in 1992.
The former Portuguese colony has been hard hit by the AIDS epidemic, with an estimated 1.6 million of its 18 million people infected with HIV. Only a fraction of those requiring ARVs are on treatment, with most of the drugs imported from India.
The offer to build the pharmaceutical plant was first raised by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during his 2004 official visit to Mozambique. Lula said he wanted drugs from the plant to be available to other African nations as well.
Brazil claims the use of generic anti-retrovirals has cut its AIDS mortality rate in half.
Mozambican Health Minister Ivo Garrido said the government would decide next month whether to approve the Brazilian proposal. "We will have to study it
very carefully," he was quoted as saying by Noticias.
Etiquetas: ARVs, Brasil, Moçambique