AIDS deaths among miners underestimated - Govt

Mozambique's Deputy Labour Minister Soares Nhaca says there is a "disastrous progression" of HIV/AIDS among Mozambican mineworkers in South Africa, with at least 2,500 miners having died from AIDS-related illnesses between 2000 and 2004.

However, Nhaca noted the figures were an underestimation as reported AIDS deaths among Mozambican miners were put at 100 a year during the early 90's, but the number had now reached 500 per year.

"And this is only the official data which leads us to suspect that the real panorama is even more critical," Nhaca told the Angolan news agency, ANGOP.

The Labour Ministry, meanwhile said it was in close contact with South Africa on how to reduce mortality and the spread of HIV among mineworkers.