Mozambique leads from the front in battle against Aids
Thursday, March 21, 2013
The Polana Caniço health facility, which treats more than 200,000 patients each year, is in a densely populated area in Mozambique’s capital, Maputo. It’s early morning and the hospital is already filling up with patients, mostly mothers with young children. However, there are also students here for training on how to use new equipment that will provide critical feedback to patients with HIV – 11.5% of 15- to 49-year-olds in Mozambique.
The rate has been stable for the past five years, but remains high. Innovative technologies to quickly and accurately diagnose and monitor HIV are being rolled out by the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Médecins sans Frontières and Unicef. The trials, funded by Unitaid, are to improve diagnosis of children under 18 months, and tests to assess all patients’ immunity levels. They enable health workers to monitor levels of the virus in the blood, and can determine when a patient needs to switch from first-line to second-line antiretrovirals. The equipment is adapted for low-tech settings, and patients will be able to be tested and treated nearer their homes.
- Health Care