Mozambique Government Endorses Plan to Fight HIV/AIDS Developed in Cooperation with William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation and Partners
The Council of Ministers of the Government of Mozambique approved a strategic plan this month that will enable the country to provide a broad range of high quality, comprehensive, integrated care and treatment services for patients with HIV/AIDS. The plan was developed by the Ministry of Health with support and assistance from the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation and its partner, Health Alliance International (HAI).
President Clinton signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Prime Minister Dr. Pascoal Mocumbi in September 2002, which committed the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation to assist the Mozambican government in fighting HIV/AIDS. Volunteers from the Clinton Foundation and HAI worked with members of a specially organized task force of the Ministry of Health to develop the strategic plan. The plan marks a significant shift in the Mozambican approach to tackling HIV/AIDS, as the majority of current HIV/AIDS funding in Mozambique has been focused primarily on prevention activities. With this new initiative, large-scale care and treatment programs will be offered for the first time through the Ministry of Health, strengthening and reinforcing the preventive efforts already underway.
Former President Bill Clinton praised the Mozambican government and the partnership: "I congratulate the government of Mozambique for its leadership in the struggle against AIDS. I am also deeply thankful to Prime Minister Mocumbi, Minister of Health Dr. Francisco Songane and Minister of Finance Luisa Diogo and the many others who have worked diligently with the team from my Foundation. We have constructed an ambitious but practical plan to bring care and treatment to those afflicted with AIDS in Mozambique. I look forward to continuing our work together as the Government now moves to put the Mozambican plan into effect. Winning this battle calls on our shared humanity, our shared resources, and on our shared understanding that global health - like economic opportunities and ethnic understanding - is vital for a peaceful future."
The plan aims to provide care and treatment to over 350,000 HIV-positive individuals over the next five years, which includes approximately 125,000 individuals who are expected to receive highly active antiretroviral drug treatment treatment (HAART). Under the plan, those who do not yet need HAART will receive continued counseling and treatment of the opportunistic infections. The plan is designed to greatly strengthen the capacity and quality of all services within the public health system including health facilities, staff training, and systems for procurement and distribution of drugs and supplies.
The initiative will be managed by the Mozambique Ministry of Health. The National AIDS Council and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) including the Clinton Foundation and HAI will provide support. In the first phase, care and treatment will be made available in 19 Day Hospitals located throughout Mozambique. A Day Hospital is an ambulatory facility capable of providing comprehensive prevention, care and treatment services to patients with HIV/AIDS. By the end of the five-year period it is hoped that every district in the country will have a Day Hospital capable of offering HIV/AIDS care and treatment.
The funding for the initiative, expected to reach $330 million over the next five years, will be provided by donor nations whose contributions are likely to increase as the initiative progresses. The Clinton Foundation is working to help secure necessary funding. For example, President Clinton was recently in Ireland receiving a $110 million commitment from the Irish government supporting the work of The Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative in Mozambique, of which $50 million will go to Mozambique.
Multilateral organizations, including The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), the World Bank Multi-country AIDS Project (MAP), are also expected to make financial contributions to this effort.
The Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative is at work in Mozambique, Rwanda and Tanzania in Africa, and in many nations in the Caribbean, as it continues to focus on ways to dramatically increase the number of people with HIV/AIDS who are receiving care and treatment. In order to obtain these goals, the Foundation will provide technical assistance to build the necessary physical and human capacity, procure needed pharmaceuticals and mobilize international resources to make the plans a reality.
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