15 years ago, the Mozambican Government endorsed a new HIV/AIDS strategic plan that would, for the first time, introduce large-scale care and treatment programs through the Mozambican National Health System. That plan, developed by the Mozambican Ministry of Health with support and technical assistance from Health Alliance International and the Clinton Foundation, aimed to initiate 125,000 individuals on lifesaving antiretroviral therapy (ART) over a five-year period.
Today, UNAIDS estimates that 1.2 million HIV-positive Mozambicans are actively receiving ART. While this number (54% of the estimated HIV-positive population) is still far too low, given the overall burden of the disease in Mozambique, it is a striking testament to the importance of working with and through National Health Care Systems to achieve equitable health outcomes.
Without the support and engagement of then-Prime Minister Dr. Pascoal Mocumbi and the commitment by then-Minister of Health Dr. Francisco Songane to integrate HIV/AIDS services into Mozambique’s primary health care model, ART may never have reached people like Sofia.
On this World AIDS Day 2018, HAI celebrates the advocates, pioneers, and justice warriors around the world that bring life-saving medicines and care to every individual in need. And we remind and encourage those working in global health aid and development that the key to extending the reach of services to everyone, is to collaborate with the system built with everyone in mind: public sector health systems.