ABOUT US

Carmelo Hospital located in the town of Chokwe, Gaza province, is a medical unit of reference for TB (Tuberculosis) and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome caused by the HIV virus) .Carmelo is comprised of several activities among them Internment, Pediatrics Center, Children Support Center, medical consultations, laboratory and pharmacy. It is part of the National Program against Tuberculosis and Leprosy (PNCTL), registered in the National Health System and is operated and administered by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in agreement with the Ministry of Health.

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Our History

From a Convent to a Hospital

The construction of the Carmelo convent began in 1961 and it was inaugurated on July 26, 1964, when it was delivered to the Carmelite sisters who occupied it until 1976. It was in this year that the sisters, forced by political circumstances of that time, left the convent which was nationalized, and then it was returned to the church on December 28, 1993.

An inspiring experience

In 1990, while TB patients were treated at Chalucuane Health Center, the Daughters of Charity were met with unwarranted therapeutic diseases. At that time the country had not yet been talking about AIDS. Leveraging on a donation of HIV tests, they began doing the test on TB patients, finding a HIV sero-prevalence to 24% among them. Then they realized that AIDS was already infecting the population, which created a big challenge for the future.
With this in mind and taking advantage of the infrastructure of Carmelo Hospital , they requested to the then Bishop of the Diocese of Xai-Xai to use the facilities for the treatment of tuberculosis and AIDS. After the clean up and remodeling , the convent was transformed into a hospital, opened its doors on May 10, 1995 and received the first inpatients: 8 came from the Rural Hospital and 30 more from the Chalucuane Hospital

Tests conducted at the hospital between 1995 and 2002 showed a large increase in people infected with HIV virus. Given the prevalence of AIDS, Carmelo Hospital expanded its services, which was originally focused on tuberculosis treatment, to HIV + patients and received permission to start antiretroviral therapy (ART) with 10 patients per month.

With the support from the community of Sto. Egidio (Rome, Italy), the first 10 patients started treatment in December 2002 thus the beginning of the first DREAM Center of the Daughters of Charity, aimed at treating HIV / AIDS.

The original seroprevalence rate of HIV in TB patients was 24% in 1990, jumped to 36% in 2002 and to an alarming rate of 76% in 2010. Given these circumstances, the sisters implemented a new organization to care for people with HIV / AIDS. This work is being implemented with great determination, bringing major improvements for the local community.

As of December 2011, 16.539 HIV seropositive patients were diagnosed, of which 5.681 were on antiretroviral therapy (ART) by that date.