Mozambique: Anti-viral medication factory launches this year with initial investment from Brazilian government

21 April 2008

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 21 April – The Maputo anti-viral medication factory is due to be launched this year with na initial investment of US$4 million from the Brazilian government, the president of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) has said in Rio de Janeiro.

Speaking to Portuguese news agency Lusa, Paulo Marchiori Buss said that the factory would initially produce three anti-viral drugs to meet domestic demand, as well as other medication to treat hypertension and diabetes.

On the sidelines of the II Congress of Portuguese-Speaking Countries on Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS, which ended Thursday in Rio de Janeiro, the president of Fiocruz said that the first batches of medication would be on the Mozambican market by the end of the year.

According to Paulo Buss, as the factory manages to meet domestic demand, the excess medication may be sold to other African nations, preferably to those with Portuguese as an official language (PALOP).

The project for setting up the anti-viral drugs factory in Maputo hás been in existence for 4 years, but the economic feasibility study, carried out by Fiocruz’s Institute of Pharmacological Technology (Farmanguinhos)was only approved last year.

The total cost of the project is estimated at US$12 million.

Fiocruz’s offices in Africa, which is accredited by the African Union to help develop the continent’s health system, will also be headquartered in Maputo.

With that measure, Mozambique will become the second African country to count on Fiocruz’s experience, as the Sérgio Arouca National School for Public Health (ENSP/Fiocruz) has already implemeneted its first international masters course in Public Health in Angola.

During the congress, there was a discussion of the alarming situation of AIDS in Mozambique, where 19 percent of the population is infected with the HIV virus, as well as the fact that 68 percent of all people infected with HIV in the world live in sub-Saharan Africa, according to figures from the World Health Organisation. (macauhub)