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2 December 2010

Mozambique Science and Biotechnology Health and Medicine news

Molecular Biology Lab Reopens

The Maputo molecular laboratory in a centre to care for children infected with HIV/AIDS, shut down by fire in January, has reopened.
Mozambique's first lady, Maria da Luz Guebuza, accompanied by the founder of the Italian NGO, the Sant'Egidio Community, reinaugurated the laboratory on Thursday.
The laboratory is part of the DREAM (Drug Resource Enhancement against AIDS and Malnutrition) project, set up by the Sant'Egidio Community. DREAM is one of the main projects providing the life-prolonging anti-retroviral treatment to HIV-positive Mozambicans.
The equipment destroyed by the January fire has all been replaced, so that the laboratory can operate with the same capacity as before. The laboratory processes blood samples to determine their viral load.
It has the capacity to process 3,000 viral loads a month. It can also carry out 1,300 CD4 tests, and 330 PCR tests. The CD4 tests count the number of CD4 cells (the part of the human immune system attacked by the virus), while the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests are the most accurate form of diagnosing the presence of HIV in blood.
The Mozambican health authorities regard the laboratory as an important contribution to quality control in treating HIV positive people. Currently about 200,000 patients are undergoing the life-prolonging anti-retroviral therapy.
Speaking at the reinauguration ceremony, Maria da Luz Guebuza stressed that the AIDS epidemic has taken on alarming proportions in Mozambique, and more efforts must be made in prevention.
"We have to raise people's awareness in order to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS", she said.

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