Maputo — The Executive Secretary of Mozambique’s National AIDS Council (CNCS), Francisco Mbofana, warned on Monday that, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the health authorities and the public at large must step up the campaigns against HIV/AIDS.
“Not much is said about AIDS nowadays, but we are continuing to fight against it”, said Mbofana, in a meeting held in Maputo as part of the preparations for drawing up a new national strategic plan to respond to HIV/AIDS.
“We have several teams undertaking activities to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but at the same time they are carrying messages about AIDS, and distributing condoms to the public”, he added.
Mbofana said that, although there has been a considerable reduction in the number of people infected with HIV, Mozambique remains one of the ten countries most affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and it is estimated that over 100 people still die every day from AIDS-related causes.
“The data still show that we have work ahead of us”, he continued. “We have reduced the number of new infections, but not to the level we would like. Our goal is to ensure that there are zero infections”.
To avoid exposing HIV-positive people to infection by Covid-19, hospitals have improved their capacity to distribute anti-retroviral medicines, the drugs which prolong the lives of HUIV-positive people, by hindering the multiplication of the virus, and preventing a fatal weakening of the immune system.
To make social distancing easier, and to avoid causing crowds of patients queuing up for their medicines, hospitals are now giving each HIV-positive patient supplies of anti-retroviral drugs that will last for three or six months, Mbofala sais.
“This is one of the good results that Covid-19 has forced us to achieve”, he added.