Beira is the second largest city in Mozambique and it is the capital of the Province of Sofala, home to 20% of the population of Mozambique.
According to a report from the Governor of the Province, Carvalho Muara, the HIV prevalence rate in Sofala is 15.5% among people aged between 15 and 49 years. Patients treated with antiretroviral drugs in this Province increased from 5.746 (as of 2009) to 6.647 (in 2010). Data confirmed by the Country Report 2012 by the UNAIDS: throughout Mozambique the HIV prevalence is 11.3%, but in the Province of Sofala reaches a higher value, predominantly among pregnant women, amongst whom the rate is 25-40%.
In this context the more important the presence of the Multipurpose DREAM Center, adjacent to the center for clinical care for people with HIV/AIDS, nutritional center, molecular biology laboratory and a school for street children who, after a literacy course, will be trained as artisans. The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, amongst others, supports this center that was opened in March 2012 and is located in Praia Nova, a central section of the city.
On January 22, the Italian Ambassador in Mozambique, Roberto Vellano, while visiting Beira for the signing of the Memorandum for the third installment of the “Paddel” (the Program for Development and Support for the Local Government of the Province of Sofala, funded by the Italian Cooperation), has also visited the Multipurpose DREAM Center.
Accompanied by Vincenzo Oddo and Pietro de Carli, leaders of the Italian Cooperation in Maputo and Beira, the Ambassador visited the premises following the same path of the patients of the DREAM center: blood test, medical examination, drug delivery up to the nutritional supplement. The delegation met with the staff of the center, including the cooks who were preparing lunch for the children of the nutritional center, and were impressed by the spirit of cooperation between all operators. They also received the greeting of a child, Ribeiro, ten years old, representing the children attending school literacy.
The visit of the Ambassador stressed the importance of a center of excellence, such as the Multipurpose DREAM Center, in the city of Beira: a center that gives new hope to a population that seemed doomed by the HIV virus. In particular, an increasing number of HIV-positive pregnant women come to the DREAM Center seeing in the administration of antiretroviral drugs to prevent the mother-to-child transmission, the real hope of giving birth to healthy children, free from HIV.