Maputo — The governor of Maputo city, Iolanda Cintura, on Wednesday demanded vigorous action for an implacable struggle against the sale of medicines stolen from the Mozambican National Health Service in the sprawling informal markets of the capital.
Speaking at the opening session of a meeting of the Coordinating Council of the Maputo City Health Directorate, Cintura called for stronger inspection to ensure more effective control and management of medicines in the health unit, so that they would always be available to the public.
The meeting, held under the motto “Strengthening Primary Health Care and Welfare for More and Better Services”, will draw up a balance of the activities of the directorate over the past year and the first quarter of this year.
“This theme reflects the need for us to continue our investments in order to improve the quality of the services we provide to communities, and the promotion of good habits of hygiene”, said the governor.
Summarising successes over the past year, Cintura said that the infant mortality rate in the city had fallen from 32 to 27 deaths per 1,000 live births between 2015 and 2016. The ratio of inhabitants per doctor had improved from 7,810 in 2015 to 5,865 in 2016.
The city health director, Alice Abreu, told the meeting that, by the end of the first quarter of this year 133,000 HIV positive people in the capital were receiving the life prolonging Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ARVT), and 200 people who had dropped out of treatment were recovered and put back on ARVT.
She said this figure is in line with implementing the United Nations target of “90-90-90” - that is, that 90 per cent of all people living with HIV should know their status, 90 per cent of the people diagnosed should receive ARVT, and 90 per cent of those receiving treatment are virally suppressed, so that the amount of the virus in their blood is reduced to an undetectable level.
Abreu said that, since the beginning of implementing this strategy, “we have achieved more than 100 per cent of the targets in our plan”. This year, by the end of March, the Maputo city health services had added 9,000 people to those receiving ARVT.
Since ARVT was introduced in Mozambique, over ten years ago, 3,000 people in Maputo are known to have died from HIV/AIDS.