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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

    


 

US Grant for Fight Against Aids At the Workplace

Maputo

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 HIV/AIDS.

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 scenario".

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".