More than 1,300, or about one-sixth, of Mozambique's 9,000 teachers are dying annually of AIDS-related causes, lowering the quality of education in the country, Education and Culture Minister Aires Aly said in an interview Tuesday, Reuters reports. Aly added that teachers are a key human resource in Mozambique's economic development and that HIV/AIDS is negatively affecting the population, Reuters reports.
Aly said that Mozambique is "losing 17% of our 9,000 teachers each year" because of AIDS-related causes and that the "disease is spreading very fast at [the] national level." He said that HIV/AIDS is a "crucial issue for us, and we are trying to train more teachers for them to be able to deal with (the pandemic) in the communities." He added, "Teachers play a major role in the economic development of this country."
Mozambique is "struggling" to raise the $150 million annually it needs to rebuild its education infrastructure, according to Reuters. The country also plans to build a factory that will produce antiretroviral drugs to increase treatment access for HIV-positive people, Reuters reports. According to health officials, more than 16% of the country's 20 million residents between ages 14 and 49 are living with HIV/AIDS, and an estimated 500 new cases are transmitted daily (Mangwiro, Reuters, 3/25).
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