Children living with HIV/AIDS in Eastern and Southern Africa will have greater access to antiretrovirals and other treatments under an agreement signed this week between the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Baylor College of Medicine of Texas. “This collaboration is good news for children living with HIV and AIDS in the countries of this region, where far too many still don’t receive the care and treatment they need,”UNICEF Regional Director Per Engebak said.“It marks a step forward in the Global Campaign on Children and AIDS, which was launched last year specifically to encourage collaborative efforts such as this one to prevent children from becoming infected with HIV and to improve treatment, care and support for children infected and affected by HIV and AIDS.”Some 2.3 million children are living with HIV and more than 5 million have died from the pandemic so far, most of them in Africa.Antiretroviral therapies (ARTs) have only recently become available to greater numbers of people in Africa, but children remain often undiagnosed and underserved. Pediatric formulations of most ARTs are not readily available and health care providers throughout the region lack training in treating children for AIDS.Also, far too few children receive even low-cost antibiotics to prevent or treat the common opportunistic infections they often endure. The new collaboration between Baylor and UNICEF is heralded as a critical step in transforming pediatric AIDS treatment in the region. “This new partnership will help Baylor and UNICEF catalyze expanded access to treatment for HIV-infected children and families across 20 countries of Eastern and Southern Africa,” said the Vice President of International Affairs of Baylor’s Pediatric AIDS Initiative, Michael B. Mizwa, who signed the agreement together with Mr. Engebak.“These countries are the hardest hit by HIV/AIDS compared to any others on the face of the globe,” he added.
According to a report in Australia’s Manufacturers’ Monthly, Peruvian lubricants manufacturer, Vistony, will establish its Australia and New Zealand headquarters in Geelong, Victoria, with sights set on beginning operations in early 2019. Vistony supplies oils, lubricants and greases for the industrial, automotive and mining sectors globally, with branches across Latin America, the United States, India and Spain.The company’s operations in Australia and New Zealand will begin early next year following the construction of the new facility in Norlane, Geelong, where it will focus on provisioning sales and marketing for its products in these markets. Vistony’s Founder and chairman, Oswaldo Hidalgo, said he welcomed the efforts of the Victorian government in supporting the company.“The support of the Victorian Government was instrumental to our decision of establishing Vistony’s Australia and New Zealand Headquarters in Victoria,” Hidalgo said. The Victorian government recently established an office in Santiago to support and increase trade, education and investment activities between Victoria and the Latin America region.State industry and employment minister, Ben Carroll, said that Vistony’s move to set up its Geelong facility reflected Victoria’s status as an attractive investment destination for Latin American companies in the manufacturing, mining, technologies and agricultural industries. “Victoria is a global leader in manufacturing and this investment from Vistony cements that position,” Carroll said. “We’ll always back manufacturing because it creates local jobs and boosts our economy.”