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How Mozambique Is Coping With AIDS

MAPUTO, Aug 12 2014 (IPS) - Mozambique struggles to contain the HIV epidemic with one in ten among its 24 million people infected. Helping them is not easy when only 60 percent of people have access to health services.

There are five doctors and 25 nurses per 100,000 people. In neighbouring South Africa, the ratio is 55 doctors and 383 nurses.


Recently, the United Nations ranked Mozambique 178 among 187 countries in human development. Quick stats:

  • 50 years: life expectancy
  • 3: mean years of schooling
  • 70 percent: number of people living in poverty
  • 40 percent: number of women who give birth at home
  • 56 000: number of women infected with HIV annually

Excessive dependence on donors is another problem, with 90 percent of the health ministry’s HIV/AIDS budget paid by theUnited States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The overall health budget is just eight percent of the total state budget, far from reaching the 2001 Abuja commitment to allocate 15 percent to health.

Nonetheless, Mozambique is doing quite well in preventing mother to child HIV transmission. Infection rates among children have plummeted, but remain too high at 12,000 in 2013. The good news is that this number is half of what it was five years ago.


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