This year marks the 30th anniversary of cooperation between the European Union and the Republic of Mozambique. As part of the events taking place in 2014 to commemorate this milestone, on 16 June a group of 14 European diplomats visited the Manhiça Health Research Centre (CISM)—a key European cooperation project—to gain a deeper understanding of the Centre's scientific work. The visitors included the ambassadors of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Sweden, as well as the Head of the European Union Delegation to Mozambique.
CISM is an example of successful European cooperation, and of Spanish cooperation in particular. Since the Centre was founded in 1996, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) has played a crucial role as one of CISM's main funders. This long-standing support has enabled it to remain competitive in the long run, to attract new funding, and to undertake specific research projects. The European Union has also supported CISM's training and research activities through initiatives such as the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), which has accelerated the development of new drugs, vaccines, and better diagnostic methods for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
CISM's experience clearly illustrates the impact that cooperation can have on health and R&D. In the late 1990s, nearly 35% of children under age 15 who visited the outpatient clinic were diagnosed with malaria and around 25% of in-hospital deaths were malaria-related. Fifteen years later, these figures have fallen to 9% and 1%, respectively. With its combination of biomedical research, healthcare, and training programmes for Mozambican professionals, CISM has played a fundamental role in this progress.