During the night of Jan. 8th a fire broke out in the molecular biology laboratory of the para centre in Criança, Maputo, in Mozambique.
The laboratory processes blood samples of those receiving treatment for HIV/SIDA to establish the Viral Charge and for the implementation of the PCR (a test designed to diagnose HIV in very young children). As well as this the laboratory carries out biochemical analyses and CD4 counts. At the moment it processes 3,000 Viral Charges, 1,300 CD4 counts and 300 PCR a month.
An inquiry is underway to determine the cause of the fire as the laboratory was equipped with a sophisticated security system designed to block any short circuit.
Following the fire, the Sant’Egidio Community and the DREAM Programme have received numerous expressions of solidarity. Various people came to visit the laboratory damaged by the fire to offer their support.
Among the first were the Italian Ambassador in Mozambique, the Ambassador of the European Union and the Papal Nuncio in Mozambique.
There were many messages of solidarity from friends, patients, NGOs and members of religious communities living and working in Mozambique.
Furthermore, during a state visit to Mozambique, Dirk Niebel, the Minister for German Co-operation, with a delegation of German Members of Parliament, German Co-operation, the Embassy, and representatives from the media, businesses and various non-governmental organisations, visited the Criança para Centre and offered their support for the rebuilding of the laboratory.
The work will begin on Jan. 25th and it is expected that the laboratory will be back in operation shortly.