The Business Year

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Mozambique has managed to keep COVID-19 at bay somewhat through past experiences, determination, and collaboration at international, national, and institutional levels.

Mouzinho Saide

General Director, Maputo Central Hospital (HCM)

Africa’s advantage in dealing with the current pandemic is that COVID-19 is not the first health threat we have had to face in recent years. Since the first case was imported in Mozambique, the country was quick to implement all the required measures. Overall, the measures recommended by the government have been followed fairly effectively, and we noticed a good degree of collaboration between government institutions and international partners, ensuring things could continue to work. At the same time, we still see many people who still have not realized the real danger that COVID-19 represents to individuals and society. It is necessary that we follow the recommended prevention measures if we want to prevent local transmission rates from increasing dramatically. The health sector certainly faces the biggest challenge, so we had to be particularly quick and effective in taking action. We are responsible for three essential tasks: providing information on prevention, organizing testing, and treating cases. In particular, as a quaternary-level hospital, HCM had to mobilize and prepare for the new reality. We created our own internal training structure to train all professionals. We gradually acquired enough PPE for a medium-sized situation. We have put in place services, including a place for in-patients suspected to have COVID-19. For now, patients who test positive for COVID-19 are transferred to the Hospital Geral Polana Caniço, so that HCM can focus on attending to the general public.

Beatriz Ferreira

Founder and General Director, Instituto do Coração (ICOR)

We are happy to contribute, through our facility and means, to the fight against COVID-19. First, we are having training for all staff, from auxiliary personnel, receptionists, physicians, and paramedics, about this disease and all the hygienic and preventive measures required. We have been collaborating with the National Institute of Health and a South African laboratory, and we are creating conditions so we can do PCR here as well. The ICU of ICOR has eight beds, and they are all equipped with ventilators. We also have two more rooms available for patients who need isolation. We have put in some efforts to increase our number of ventilators and other equipment to deal with the pandemic, and you can imagine how hard and costly it has been to ship this to Mozambique in the midst of a global lockdown. We have some of the medicine that are showing positive results in China, namely chloroquine and azithromycin combined. We also have the antiretroviral Kaletra, which we plan to use as Plan B. For more severe cases that need oxygen supplementation, we have dexamethasone. In addition, we are also using anticoagulation to deal with the thrombosis effect associated with COVID-19. The best strategy is prevention. We have a duty to protect ourselves and others. It is essential we act and abide by the necessary measures and do not let the disease spread.

Jorge Ribeiro

Managing Director, Jorge Ribeiro

One important lesson that we have learned from this pandemic is that we need to be self-sufficient. China, India, and Europe prohibited the exports of protective material and medicines. Unfortunately, Mozambique depends on other countries and thus needed to act. The government created conditions to manufacture in masks with the available material, and with the implementation of social distancing measures, the worst was avoided. Medimport is one of the main suppliers of medicines in Mozambique. We were able to maintain our activities and deliver medicines. We faced some problems during the outbreak of the pandemic in March, when pharmacies placed extra orders to stock products. However, the situation is now stabilizing. Thankfully, we have stock for several months, and we are up to date with the market. In Mozambique, the pandemic started slightly later than in the European countries. European countries are now restarting some of the exports so we are not foreseeing any issues on the supply side. Being in Africa for 20 years, I have realized that challenges are a constant, and companies need to be extremely flexible. We are currently rolling out an expansion plan, where we still have no representations, thus spreading our footprint across provinces. The plan was postponed in 2019 due to the cyclones, and now we will wait for the end of COVID-19.



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