The Ethiopian government and United States drug giant Pfizer on
Friday signed a partnership agreement to provide free medicines
to people living with Aids in the Horn of Africa country, the
Health Ministry said.
Under the deal, Pfizer will provide 50 000 Diflucan tablets to
treat cryptococcus meningitis and esophageal candidiasis
infections, common among Aids patients. The government will
distribute the drugs.
An estimated three million Ethiopians are infected with the HI
virus that causes Aids, according to figures for the year 2000
from the United Nations Aids agency.
"The programme will also open an opportunity to move forward and
step up public-private sector partnership in response to one of
the daunting public health problems in Ethiopia," said Alemayehu
Seifu, a Health Ministry official.
"More than 50 000 Diflucan tables donated by Pfizer will be given
for free at 16 selected public hospitals providing care and
treatment to Aids patients," he added.
"Pfizer believes that partnership with governments is not only a
business imperative but also a moral obligation ... we need to
share our innovations with the communities we serve, every day,
to make the people's lives better," said Konji Sebati, the
medical director of Pfizer's philanthropy department.