US Grant for Fight Against Aids At
de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo)
March 15, 2003
Posted to the web March 18, 2003
The Mozambican government on Friday
received a grant of around 900,000 dollars from the United
States to support actions in workplaces against the spread of
The money is being channelled through an
American NGO, Project Hope, and has the backing of the US
Department of Labour.
It is hoped to establish partnerships
involving the Mozambican Labour Ministry, employers and trade
unions in the battle against the disease.
The money is to be used in actions to
persuade workers to avoid high risk sexual behaviour, and to
halt discrimination against citizens who are HIV-positive.
Speaking at Friday's ceremony, Prime
Minister Pascoal Mocumbi expressed concern at the rise in HIV
infection among workers. He warned that this would lead to a
drop in business productivity.
Mocumbi estimated at 25 per cent the
proportion of civil servants who are HIV-positive (which is
twice as high as the national average of 12.2 per cent).
"The situation cannot go on like this", he said.
"Energetic measures must be taken to reverse this
The representative of Project Hope,
Americo Ubisse, stressed that the new initiative would aim for
a dialogue between representatives of the public sector, the
business class and the unions.
"The project hopes to ensure that
knowledge of how to prevent AIDS, and how to mitigate its
impact among those already infected, is available among
workers in the public and private sectors", he said He
said the project will first identify the conditions existing
in each workplace, to verify to what extent workers are aware
of AIDS, and of how to prevent HIV infection. Measures would
then be taken "appropriate to each sector of
activity". "Ignorance is one of the factors that
leads to an increase in infection rates", said Mocumbi.
Even those who had access to anti-retroviral drugs, he added,
should realise that these "only prolong the life of the
patient - they do not cure the disease".