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Cablegate: Combating Aids in Mozambique - Request For

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 VATICAN 001508

SIPDIS

DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI) AND AF/S;
DEPT ALSO PASS USAID AFR/SA - DMENDELSON
WHITE HOUSE FOR DR. J. FRAZER, MR. J, O'NEILL;
HHS FOR SECRETARY THOMPSON

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM SOCI TBIO MZ PHUM SOCI TBIO MZ PHUM SOCI TBIO MZ VT VTPREL VTPREL
SUBJECT: COMBATING AIDS IN MOZAMBIQUE - REQUEST FOR
FUNDING FOR CATHOLIC NGO RETROVIRAL PROGRAM

-------
SUMMARY
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 VATICA 01508 01 OF 03 090535Z
-------

1. (U) ROME'S SANT'EGIDIO COMMUNITY, A VATICAN-ENDORSED LAY
CATHOLIC NGO WITH GLOBAL REACH, WHICH SUCCESSFULLY MEDIATED
AN END TO MOZAMBIQUE'S CIVIL WAR IN 1991, HAS LAUNCHED AN
AMBITIOUS PROGRAM TO COMBAT HIV/AIDS IN MOZAMBIQUE.
SANT'EGIDIO, WHICH HAS RETAINED ITS COMMITMENT TO
MOZAMBIQUE'S DEMOCRATIC DEVELOPMENT, REGARDS HIV/AIDS AS
THE BIGGEST THREAT TO MOZAMBIQUE'S FUTURE AND HAS LAUNCHED
A DRUG RESOURCE ENHANCEMENT AGAINST AIDS (DREAM) PROJECT IN
MOZAMBIQUE TO PROVIDE HIGHLY ACTIVE ANTI-RETROVIRAL
TREATMENT TO PREGNANT WOMEN AND LACTATING MOTHERS. WITH
ADEQUATE FUNDING, IT INTENDS TO EXPAND THE PROGRAM TO OTHER
KEY AT-RISK SECTORS IN THE COUNTRY. A 12-MONTH CLINICAL
TRIAL HAS PROVEN HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL, REDUCING TRANSMISSION
RATES BY UP TO 40 PERCENT AND SAVING THOUSANDS OF NEWBORNS
FROM HIV INFECTION. THE DREAM PROJECT HAS ALREADY SECURED
SUPPORT FROM MULTINATIONAL DRUG COMPANIES, AND MOZAMBIQUE'S
MINISTER OF HEALTH, FRANCISCO SOGNANE EXTOLLED THE BENEFITS
OF THE SANT'EGIDIO PROJECT FOR MOZAMBIQUE'S PEOPLE AND
URGED THAT IT BE ENLARGED TO ENCOMPASS A GREATER NUMBER OF
PEOPLE INFECTED WITH HIV/AIDS. ADDITIONAL FUNDING WILL
ALLOW THE PROJECT TO BE EXPANDED THROUGHOUT MOZAMBIQUE, AND
POTENTIALLY BEYOND. EMBASSY BELIEVES THAT DREAM FITS LIKE A
GLOVE WITH THE PRESIDENT'S INTERNATIONAL MOTHER AND CHILD
HIV PREVENTION INITIATIVE AND RECOMMENDS THAT THE WHITE
HOUSE, USAID, AND EMBASSY MAPUTO WORK WITH SANT'EGIDIO TO
EXPAND THIS PROMISING PROJECT ADMINISTERED BY A GROUP WITH
A PROVEN TRACK RECORD. END SUMMARY AND ACTION REQUEST.

--------------------------------------------- --
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 VATICA 01508 01 OF 03 090535Z
SANT'EGIDIO: AFTER PEACE, TAKES AIM AT HIV/AIDS
--------------------------------------------- --

2. (U) THE SANT'EGIDIO COMMUNITY, A VATICAN-APPROVED LAY
MOVEMENT -- NOT LIMITED TO CATHOLICS -- WITH MORE THAN
40,000 MEMBERS DEDICATED TO CHARITY, HUMANITARIAN, AND
CONFLICT RESOLUTION EFFORTS IN MORE THAN 60 COUNTRIES, WAS
INSTRUMENTAL IN MEDIATING AN END TO MOZAMBIQUE'S
DEVASTATING CIVIL WAR IN 1991. THE COMMUNITY'S COMMITMENT
TO MOZAMBIQUE HAS NOT ABATED SINCE THEN, AND IT IS NOW
ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN ENSURING THAT THE HARD-WON PEACE LEADS
TO BETTER ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CONDITIONS FOR THE PEOPLE OF
MOZAMBIQUE. TODAY, SANT'EGIDIO RECOGNIZES THAT THE
INCREASINGLY HIGH INCIDENCE OF HIV/AIDS IN MOZAMBIQUE IS
NOW THE BIGGEST THREAT TO THE NATION'S FUTURE, DESTROYING
FAMILIES AND UNDERMINING ECONOMIC PROGRESS. AS A RESULT,
ANDREA RICCARDI, THE KINETIC FOUNDER AND HEAD OF THE
COMMUNITY HAS DEVELOPED AN INITIATIVE TOGETHER WITH THE
SIZEABLE SANT'EGIDIO COMMUNITY IN MOZAMBIQUE AIMED AT
REVERSING THE SPREAD OF HIV/AIDS THROUGH ANTI-RETROVIRAL
TREATMENTS.

3. (U) ACCORDING TO SANT'EGIDIO, THE FIGHT AGAINST HIV/AIDS
IN AFRICA HAS BEEN BASED PREDOMINANTLY ON PREVENTING MORE
AFRICANS FROM CONTRACTING THE VIRUS. SANT'EGIDIO BELIEVES
THIS HAS NOT WORKED, EVEN WHILE THEY SUPPORT CONTINUED
EFFORTS AT EDUCATION AND PREVENTION. THEY POINT OUT THAT
NO EPIDEMIC HAS BEEN OVERCOME BY PREVENTION ALONE.
MOREOVER, THEY BELIEVE THE LACK OF ACCESS TO TREATMENT
SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCES THE EFFECTIVENESS OF PREVENTION, AS
PEOPLE FEAR BEING TESTED AND FOUND TO BE POSITIVE BECAUSE
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 VATICA 01508 01 OF 03 090535Z
OF RESULTING SOCIAL ISOLATION AND PHYSICAL SANCTIONS.

----------------------------
DREAM: TREATMENT THAT WORKS
----------------------------

4. (U) SANT'EGIDIO'S DRUG RESOURCE ENHANCEMENT AGAINST AIDS
IN MOZAMBIQUE (DREAM) PROJECT IS OFFERING ACCESSIBLE
TREATMENT TO PEOPLE WITH HIV/AIDS, BEGINNING WITH PREGNANT
AND LACTATING MOTHERS. ANTI-RETROVIRAL DRUGS ARE
ADMINISTERED TO PREGNANT WOMEN TO SAVE BOTH MOTHER AND
CHILD, THEREBY PREVENTING A MOTHER'S OTHER CHILDREN FROM
BECOMING ORPHANS. CONDUCTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LOCAL
HEALTH PROFESSIONALS AND VOLUNTEERS, AND WITH EXISTING
HEALTH DEPARTMENT FACILITIES AND STAFF, DREAM USES HIGHLY
ACTIVE ANTI-RETROVIRAL THERAPY (HAART) TO PREVENT VERTICAL
(MOTHER-FETUS) TRANSMISSION OF THE HIV VIRUS. TREATMENT IS
OFFERED FREE OF CHARGE.

5. (U) THE PROJECT HAS FIVE COMPONENTS:

A) EXPANDING ACCESS FOR TREATMENT THE MODEL FORESEES TWO

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ8656

PAGE 01 VATICA 01508 02 OF 03 090535Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 EVG-00 CIAE-00
INL-00 USNW-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 UTED-00 VC-00
TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 VCE-00 NSAE-00 OES-00 DHS-00
PA-00 SS-00 TEST-00 ECA-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-01
SAS-00 SWCI-00 /001W
------------------52B8ED 090535Z /38
R 090532Z APR 03
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC
AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
INFO WHITEHOUSE WASHDC
HHS WASHDC
EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 03 VATICAN 001508

SIPDIS

DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI) AND AF/S;
DEPT ALSO PASS USAID AFR/SA - DMENDELSON
WHITE HOUSE FOR DR. J. FRAZER, MR. J, O'NEILL;
HHS FOR SECRETARY THOMPSON

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM SOCI TBIO MZ PHUM SOCI TBIO MZ PHUM SOCI TBIO MZ VT VTPREL VTPREL
SUBJECT: COMBATING AIDS IN MOZAMBIQUE - REQUEST FOR
FUNDING FOR CATHOLIC NGO RETROVIRAL PROGRAM

POSSIBILITIES FOR ACCESSING TREATMENT FOR PERSONS WITH
HIV/AIDS: ONE THROUGH A DAY HOSPITAL FOR PEOPLE IN
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 VATICA 01508 02 OF 03 090535Z
RELATIVELY GOOD PHYSICAL CONDITION, AND HOME CARE FOR THOSE
WHO ARE IN AN ADVANCED STAGE OF THE DISEASE. PARTICULAR
ATTENTION WILL ALSO BE GIVEN TO PROFESSIONAL PEOPLE SUCH AS
HEALTH CARE WORKERS AND TEACHERS WHO ARE KEY TO
MOZAMBIQUE'S DEVELOPMENT. HOSPITAL AND DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE
WILL ALSO PROVIDE COUNSELING, TESTING, TREATMENT OF
OPPORTUNISTIC INFECTIONS AND STDS, NUTRITIONAL EDUCATION
AND FOOD AID.

B) PREVENTING VERTICAL TRANSMISSION: DREAM FORESEES THAT
MOTHERS INFECTED WITH HIV RECEIVE HAART TO PREVENT VERTICAL
TRANSMISSION. AFTER GIVING BIRTH THE THERAPY CONTINUES TO
PREVENT INFECTION BY BREAST-FEEDING.

C) TRAINING: DREAM WILL BE STAFFED BY MOZAMBICANS, WHICH
REQUIRES INVESTMENT IN LOCAL AND OVERSEAS TRAINING FOR ALL
PERSONNEL INVOLVED, A WELL AS A PROGRAM OF SUPERVISION AND
IN-SERVICE TRAINING.

D) LABORATORY: TREATING HIV POSITIVE PEOPLE WITH HAART
DEMANDS ADVANCED DIAGNOSTIC SUPPORT AND MONITORING OF ANY
ADVERSE EFFECTS. DREAM HAS ALREADY SET UP THE FIRST TWO
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY LABS IN THE SOUTH OF THE COUNTRY (MAPUTO)
AND IN THE CENTER AT BEIRA. A SIMILAR LAB IS PRESENTLY
BEING EQUIPPED AT NAMPULA IN THE NORTH OF MOZAMBIQUE.

E) INFORMATION NETWORK: ALL DREAM ACTIVITIES ARE MONITORED
THROUGH AN IT NETWORK LINKING THE TREATMENT CENTERS AND
LABS.

-----------------------
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 VATICA 01508 02 OF 03 090535Z
FIRST RESULTS PROMISING
-----------------------

6. (U) THE FIRST RESULTS OF DREAM WERE PRESENTED AT THE
TENTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON RETROVIRUS AND
OPPORTUNISTIC INFECTIONS HELD IN BOSTON IN FEBRUARY. FOUR-
HUNDRED FORTY HIV POSITIVE PATIENTS, PRIMARILY PREGNANT
WOMEN, PARTICIPATED IN THE INITIAL DREAM PROGRAM IN ORDER
TO GAUGE THE EFFECTS OF THERAPY ON MOTHER-FETAL
TRANSMISSION. OF THESE, 240 FOLLOWED THE STANDARD THERAPY
USED IN WESTERN COUNTRIES. MORTALITY RATES WERE LOWERED;
THE QUALITY OF THE PATIENTS' LIFE IMPROVED MARKEDLY, AND
THE AMOUNT OF THE VIRUS IN THE BLOOD DECREASED NOTICEABLY.
ABOVE ALL, THE PROGRAM REVEALED A HIGH CONTINUING
PARTICIPATION RATE -- A POINT OF PARTICULAR SIGNIFICANCE IN
A DEVELOPING COUNTRY LIKE MOZAMBIQUE. THE RESULTS SHOWED
THAT EVEN IN NATIONS WITH A BASIC HEALTH SYSTEM IT IS
POSSIBLE TO USE A THERAPEUTIC MODEL THAT IMPACTS
SIGNIFICANTLY ON THE RATE OF HIV INFECTION. THE RESULTS OF
THE DREAM TRIAL ARE TO BE PUBLISHED IN AN UP-COMING EDITION
OF THE PRESTIGIOUS BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL LANCET. CLINICAL
RESULTS OF THE TRIAL ARE AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET:
WWW.RETROCONFERENCE.ORG/2003/ABSTRACT/WORDHTM L/2127.HTM

7. (U) THE SANT'EGIDIO COMMUNITY FURTHER ELABORATED THESE
RESULTS AND PRESENTED ITS PROJECT AT A RECENT GATHERING IN
ROME ATTENDED BY EMBASSY OFFICERS. IT WAS CLEAR THAT THE
DREAM PROJECT HAS ALREADY EARNED THE WHOLEHEARTED SUPPORT
OF A VARIED GROUP OF ENTITIES RANGING FROM MULTINATIONAL
DRUG COMPANIES TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN GERMANY.
MOZAMBIQUE'S MINISTER OF HEALTH, FRANCISCO SOGNANE,
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 VATICA 01508 02 OF 03 090535Z
EXTOLLED THE BENEFITS OF THE SANT'EGIDIO PROJECT FOR
MOZAMBIQUE'S PEOPLE, AND URGED THAT IT BE EXTENDED RAPIDLY
TO ENCOMPASS A GREATER NUMBER OF PEOPLE INFECTED WITH
HIV/AIDS.

------------------------
DREAM AND USG OBJECTIVES
------------------------

8. (U) DREAM FITS LIKE A GLOVE WITH THE PRESIDENT'S
INTERNATIONAL MOTHER AND CHILD HIV PREVENTION INITIATIVE
FOCUSED ON INCREASING THE AVAILABILITY OF PREVENTIVE CARE,
INCLUDING DRUG TREATMENTS, AND BUILDING HEALTHCARE DELIVERY
SYSTEMS TO REACH AS MANY WOMEN AS POSSIBLE WITH THE CARE
THEY NEED. IN FACT, AFTER DCM SHARED THE PRESIDENT'S
JANUARY ANNOUNCEMENT OF HIS NEW HIV/AIDS INITIATIVE WITH
SANT'EGIDIO, ONE OF ITS SENIOR OFFICIALS SAID HE FELT AS IF
THE PRESIDENT WAS READING FROM THEIR PROPOSAL BECAUSE OF
THE COMMON FOCUS ON ANTI-RETROVIRAL DRUGS, MOZAMBIQUE,
PREVENTING MOTH-CHILD TRANSMISSION, AND PRESERVING FAMILY
UNITS. THE PRESIDENT'S ANNOUNCEMENT STATED THAT THE
ADMINISTRATION IS LOOKING TO WORK WITH OTHER GOVERNMENTS,

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ8657

PAGE 01 VATICA 01508 03 OF 03 090536Z
ACTION EUR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 EVG-00 CIAE-00
INL-00 USNW-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 UTED-00 VC-00
TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 VCE-00 NSAE-00 OES-00 DHS-00
PA-00 SS-00 TEST-00 ECA-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-01
SAS-00 SWCI-00 /001W
------------------52B8F2 090536Z /38
R 090532Z APR 03
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC
AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
INFO WHITEHOUSE WASHDC
HHS WASHDC
EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 03 OF 03 VATICAN 001508

SIPDIS

DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (MENNUTI) AND AF/S;
DEPT ALSO PASS USAID AFR/SA - DMENDELSON
WHITE HOUSE FOR DR. J. FRAZER, MR. J, O'NEILL;
HHS FOR SECRETARY THOMPSON

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM SOCI TBIO MZ PHUM SOCI TBIO MZ PHUM SOCI TBIO MZ VT VTPREL VTPREL
SUBJECT: COMBATING AIDS IN MOZAMBIQUE - REQUEST FOR
FUNDING FOR CATHOLIC NGO RETROVIRAL PROGRAM

PRIVATE GROUPS AND "ALL KINDS OF FAITH-BASED PROGRAMS
INVOLVED ON THE AFRICAN CONTINENT."
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 VATICA 01508 03 OF 03 090536Z

9. (U) EMBASSY BELIEVES IT WOULD BE HARD TO FIND A FAITH-
BASED INITIATIVE WITH BETTER PROSPECTS THAN THE SANT'EGIDIO
DREAM PROJECT. WE NOTE THAT THE COMMUNITY OF SANT'EGIDIO,
FOUNDED IN ROME IN 1968, IS VATICAN-ENDORSED CATHOLIC LAY
MOVEMENT WITH MORE THAN 40,000 MEMBERS (NOT ALL CATHOLIC)
DEDICATED TO CHARITY AND HUMANITARIAN EFFORTS IN MORE THAN
60 COUNTRIES. THE COMMUNITIES ARE COMMITTED TO SOLIDARITY
WITH THE POOR AND SUFFERING INCLUDING PHYSICALLY AND
MENTALLY DISABLED, HOMELESS, FOREIGN IMMIGRANTS, PEOPLE
WITH HIV/AIDS, TERMINALLY ILL PEOPLE, PRISONERS, ELDERLY,
ROMA AND SINTI, AND REFUGEES. IT IS ALSO A LEADING FORCE
FOR ECUMENICAL DIALOGUE AS A WAY TO PROMOTE PEACE AND CO-
OPERATION AMONG RELIGIONS, AND TO RESOLVE ARMED CONFLICTS.
COMMUNITY MEMBERS HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO RESOLVING THE
CONFLICTS IN MOZAMBIQUE AND GUATEMALA, AND HAVE HELPED
MEDIATE PEACE EFFORTS IN AFRICA'S GREAT LAKES REGION AND
KOSOVO. EMBASSY VATICAN HAS PREVIOUSLY FUNDED A
SANT'EGIDIO PROJECT IN KOSOVO THAT SEEKS TO RECONCILE SERBS
AND ETHNIC ALBANIANS AT THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LEVEL. WE
MAINTAIN AN ACTIVE DIALOGUE WITH SANT'EGIDIO ON A BROAD
RANGE OF AFRICAN ISSUES, AND THEY CONSULT REGULARLY WITH
SENIOR USG OFFICIALS.

--------------
ACTION REQUEST
--------------

10. (U) EMBASSY VATICAN STRONGLY ENDORSES THE SANT'EGIDIO
DREAM PROJECT, WHICH DCM PASSED TO USAID MOZAMBIQUE DESK
OFFICER FOR FUNDING CONSIDERATION IN FEBRUARY. IN LIGHT OF
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 VATICA 01508 03 OF 03 090536Z
THE PRESIDENT'S NEW INITIATIVE WITH ITS FOCUS ON MOZAMBIQUE
AND THE ANTI-RETROVIRAL TREATMENTS BEING IMPLEMENTED
THROUGH THE PROGRAM, WE BELIEVE THIS OFFERS AN IDEAL
PROGRAM FOR FUTURE USG FUNDING. SANT'EGIDIO HAS TOLD US
THAT THEY HAVE ALREADY CHARTED AN AMBITIOUS EXPANSION OF
THE PROGRAM, WHICH IS LIMITED ONLY BY THE LEVEL OF FUNDING.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH WASHINGTON AGENCIES AND
EMBASSY MAPUTO TO HELP FUND THIS PROMISING PROJECT, WHICH
CAN SAVE THOUSANDS OF NEWBORNS FROM HIV INFECTION, KEEP
FAMILIES INTACT, AND REDUCE POVERTY.

NICHOLSON

UNCLASSIFIED

>

2003VATICA01508 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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