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Mozambique’s Health Minister Reviews Country’s Health Status With Parliament

A nationwide vaccination effort in Mozambique helped to slash the number of reported cases of measles in Mozambique in 2008, Health Minister Ivo Garrido said Wednesday when addressing the country’s parliament, Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique/allAfrica.com reports.

Garrido also reported that 2008 marked the year that leprosy “ceased to be a public health problem in Mozambique” and malaria cases and deaths fell while the number of patients receiving antiretrovirals continued to climb – growing “from 6,000 in December 2004 to over 140,000 at the end of May this year.” During the same period, the number of doctors in Mozambique also rose 35 percent, allowing what equates to “one doctor for every 23,000 inhabitants,” AIM/allAfrica.com writes.

In Mozambique, health services are “essentially free of charge” – hospitalizations are free and consultations “cost the equivalent of 20 U.S. cents,” according to AIM/allAfrica.com.  “This was the case, [Garrido] declared, because the government ‘believes that health care is a duty of the state, and a fundamental human right'” (AIM/allAfrica.com, 6/3).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.