The future anti-retrovirus drugs factory in Matola, on the outskirts of Maputo, Saturday began packaging, storing, quality control and distribution of medication, mainly nevirapine, produced in Brazil, the Mozambican press reported.
The factory was set up with the involvement of the Drug Technology Institute (Farmanguinhos), of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) and the official laboratory of the Brazilian Health Ministry, and is part of a cooperation programme between Mozambique and Brazil.
The two governments are making efforts for the factory to start producing medication in Mozambique by the end of this year, when the facility will be inaugurated.
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)