Eritrean to buy HIV/AIDS drugs from Uganda

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki yesterday gave a major boost to Uganda’s ARV pharmaceutical firm when he announced that his country would import the AIDS drugs from here.

Efwerki, who visited the Luzira-based Quality Chemicals plant which manufactures ARVs and anti-malarials, did not say the amount of ARVs Eritrea would buy.

“We would like to buy as much as possible from you… we will put this as one of our priorities for trade and investment with Uganda.”

Eritrea is one of the few African countries with the lowest rates of HIV infections which statistics put at less than 1% of the country’s population.

Afwerki commended President Yoweri Museveni for enabling the establishment of the ARV drug factory.

He said ARVs are expensive yet there are many people in Africa in need of the drug.

He said although the infection rates are less than 1% in Eritrea, the numbers that are living with the disease are posing a challenge to the country.

The Luzira factory supplies drugs to several countries in the East African region, including South Sudan and Khartoum.

According to the Quality Chemicals officials, the factory also manufactures six million anti-malarial tablets a day, which they said, could serve Uganda and other African countries.

Statistics put the number of people who die due to malaria at 400 daily, but the officials said the number had reduced since manufacturing started. Statistics put reported malaria deaths in 2007 at 47,000, which translate to 130 deaths a day. Afwerki also visited the Sameer Diary and Agriculture industries in Industrial Area where he invited the proprietors to go and compete in the Eritrean market.

By Anne Mugisa, The New Vision

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Posted by on Aug 20 2011 Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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