Inauguration of anti-retroviral medication factory in Mozambique delayed

19 July 2012

The inauguration of the anti-retrovirus medication factory in Matola on the outskirts of Maputo, which had been scheduled for Saturday, has once again been delayed, said the Mozambican Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation cited by daily newspaper Notícias.

Brazil’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) had announced that the unit would be opened Saturday by the Brazilian vice president, Michel Temer, who is in Maputo for the 9th conference of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), due to be held Friday in the Mozambican capital.

The ministry said that, “the inauguration will only happen after all the steps in the schedule of activities for the factory to be fully operational have been carried out.”

The project for the anti-retrovirus drugs in Maputo has been planned for over four years, but only on 22 December last year did Mozambique and Brazil sign the agreement for it to be built. It is the first facility of its kind to be built in Africa.

Initially production will mainly meet demand in Mozambique, which has a high HIV/AIDS rate (around 2.5 million people or 11.5 percent of the population), but a low level of treatment (anti-retrovirus medication only reaches 260,000 people infected with HIV).

Total investment in the factory is estimated at 200 million reals (US$99 million), shared by the Brazilian government and private companies such as Brazilian mining giant Vale. (macauhub)