Tuesday, October 9, 2007

ARVs: Made in Uganda

30 million of the 40 million global cases of HIV/AIDS is in Sub-Saharan Africa, and numbers aren't coming down anytime soon, since it also has the highest rate of new HIV infections.

Although debates whether treatment or prevention strategies should be targeted are still heated, the consensus that both are necessary to ensure the success of the other is growing; if people know there is a treatment, they will be more likely to get tested and know to prevent transmitting the virus to partners or unborn children.

I'm preaching the choir here. But I was super excited to hear that Uganda will be opening a factory to produce antiretrovirals for HIV and anti-malarial drugs. This would cut out import costs and would keep some money in the country (or bring money to the country, depending on whether international organizations will be purchasing the drugs or whether buyers will be mostly internal. Not all of the money would be staying in the country, though, since the Indian pharmaceutical company, Cipla, is the one bringing the factory in.)

I hadn't known until I read this article that Kenya and South Africa already had pharmaceutical factories, and that other sub-Saharan African countries like Ghana, Tanzania, Congo, and Ethiopia have plans to build pharmaceutical factories, too.


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