Swazi King Mswati III on Tuesday during his four-day tour of Uganda said that Swaziland plans to purchase antiretroviral drugs from a Ugandan factory to address the country's HIV/AIDS epidemic, Africa Science News Service reports. In Swaziland, more than 30% of the country's 1.2 million people are HIV-positive, the highest HIV prevalence rate in the world (Africa Science News Service, 7/9).
Mswati on Tuesday toured a new factory in Kampala, Uganda, that produces drugs for HIV/AIDS and malaria, the New Vision/AllAfrica.com reports. Swazi Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Mathedelene said the Swazi government initially plans to purchase antiretrovirals from Uganda when the factory starts full production. "This visit is part of our efforts to curb the HIV epidemic," Mathedelene said, adding that Swaziland plans to "build a factory of a similar nature." During the tour of the factory, Mswati witnessed the production process for antiretroviral and malaria drugs, as well as the packaging process. He also learned about the establishment of the factory, its production capacity and rates of return, the New Vision/AllAfrica.com reports.
Also present was Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Uganda Minister of Health Stephen Mallinga, Information and Communications Technology Minister Ham Mulira and other officials. Museveni said Uganda plans to purchase shares in the factory worth 10 billion Ugandan shillings, or about $6.1 million, in order to enhance production of drugs in the country (Among, New Vision/AllAfrica.com, 7/9). Francis Kitaka, chair of the board of directors for the pharmaceutical company Quality Chemical, said that the plan will reach full production capacity in August and that it will be able to produce six million HIV/AIDS and malaria drugs daily (Africa Science News Service, 7/9).
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