Brazil Withdraws Offer To Build Antiretroviral Drug Manufacturing Plant in Mozambique
Brazil has withdrawn its offer to build a drug manufacturing plant in Mozambique that would have provided the country with antiretroviral drugs to treat people living with HIV/AIDS, Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique/AllAfrica.com reports. Pedro Chequer, coordinator of the Brazilian Ministry of Health's AIDS programs, said in an interview with the Portuguese news agency Lusa, "It's not worth building a factory making antiretrovirals in Mozambique for it to become a white elephant." Instead, Chequer said that Brazil would support quality control of drugs in Mozambique and transfer technology to the East African nation (Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique/AllAfrica.com, 8/13). In November 2003, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced plans to build a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Mozambique to help the country produce its own antiretroviral drugs. He said that Brazil would supply Mozambique with discounted antiretroviral drugs prior to the plant's construction (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/6/03). However, Chequer said that Brazil would offer antiretroviral drugs to smaller Portuguese-speaking countries, including Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Sao Tome and Principe and East Timor, instead of Mozambique, according to Xinhua News Agency. He added that "close collaboration" with those nations was possible because they had relatively low HIV prevalence, Xinhua News Agency reports. Official data show that approximately 1.4 million HIV-positive people live in Mozambique, and about 200,000 of those individuals would qualify for antiretroviral treatment (Xinhua News Agency, 8/14). Currently, between 3,000 and 4,000 HIV-positive people in Mozambique are being treated with antiretrovirals that are imported from India, according to Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique/AllAfrica.com (Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique/AllAfrica.com, 8/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.