Maputo - Although important achievements in the last decade have allowed over 200,000 people living with HIV in Mozambique to receive life-saving treatment, many challenges remain in the fight against HIV/AIDS warns the international humanitarian medical organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in a new report.
“The current global economic crisis is expected to result in a decrease in support to Mozambique’s general health budget from US$85 million in 2010 to US$70 million in 2012,” said Alain Kassa, MSF’s Head of Mission in Mozambique. “Several donors will also be reducing their support for fighting HIV/AIDS in Mozambique over the coming years. This is certain to have an impact on HIV care and treatment.”
The new report, entitled MSF in Mozambique 2001-2010: Ten years of HIV projects also highlights the lack of human resources, the scarcity of adequate health facilities, and drug ruptures as major obstacles in fighting HIV/AIDS.
“This tenth anniversary is not really a celebration, as many people in Mozambique and in the Southern African region continue to suffer and die from HIV/AIDS. It is more an opportunity to reflect on our action in the country so far and identify remaining challenges” said Kassa.
Along with the Mozambican government and other partners, MSF has been at the forefront of the battle against HIV/AIDS in Mozambique since 2001. Over the past ten years, structures supported by MSF in Mozambique provided testing, care and treatment to over 33,000 people living with HIV/AIDS. The organisation was a leading actor in the introduction of anti-retroviral therapy in the country. MSF also introduced and advocated for the implementation of decentralised care and worked on initiatives to reduce the stigma associated with the disease. In addition, MSF has been active in developing innovative models of care involving communities and people living with HIV/AIDS.
“MSF is committed to continue supporting Mozambique’s health authorities in their efforts to provide adequate HIV/AIDS treatment and care to all those who need it. We will also continue to develop innovative solutions to tackling the epidemic, notably by targeting HIV’s most deadly co-infection, tuberculosis,” said Agnès Sobry, MSF’s Medical Coordinator in Mozambique.