Mmegi Online :: Bobonong overwhelmed by ARV recipients
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Last Updated
Friday 15 December 2017, 17:56 pm.
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Bobonong overwhelmed by ARV recipients

BOBONONG: Health facilities here are overwhelmed with transfers of patients on ARV treatment as most have relocated from Selebi-Phikwe to their home villages following the Mine closure.
By Onalenna Kelebeile Tue 05 Dec 2017, 18:58 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Bobonong overwhelmed by ARV recipients








Bobirwa senior sub-tribal authority, Kgosi   Ezekiel Joel Masilo told the World AIDS Day Commemorations that Bobirwa has been one of the most affected areas in the country when it comes to HIV/AIDS. He noted that Selebi-Phikwe statistics have been very high and transfers of those on treatment overwhelms and outstretches the medical services offered by Bobonong health facilities.

Kgosi Masilo advised the community to be vigilant because the sprouting projects in the village may also have an impact in the spread of HIV/AIDS if caution is not exercised. He said these developments call for health education to be intensified and warned that if developments are not well managed they can contribute to the increased statistics. Also of concern to the chief was the high level of teenage pregnancy, which he noted indicated that unsafe sex is practised, thus increasing the spread of the disease. 

Addressing the gathering, President Ian Khama said as the world continues to commend Botswana for robust programmes that the country has implemented to fight HIV/AIDS this year’s commemoration must serve as a platform to introspect and roll out best practices from the programmes that were successfully implemented.

He said there is need for inclusive programming to ensure that all have access to HIV services as well as elimination of any form of stigma and discrimination that may hinder access to services to any segment of the population. Khama added that without the right to health, people could not effectively prevent HIV nor access treatment and care services. He said the theme ‘Right to Health’ is necessary as it touches on the core of our revitalised primary health care approach that promotes access quality and sustainable health

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services.

“We have invested in infrastructural development of health care facilities of different levels and today more than 85% of the population are within the five-kilometre radius of a health facility,” he said.

The President said that one of the notable strides to achieve epidemic control of HIV by 2020 and end HIV/AIDS by 2030 is that the country introduced the prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme in 1999 and was also the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to provide universal free antiretroviral treatment to people living with HIV in 2002.

“When we started the antiretroviral programme in 2002, only four hospitals offered those services, but now all our health facilities offer those services. This is a tremendous achievement. In the past, HIV positive individuals were put on treatment if they were of certain eligibility determined by their CD4 count or AIDS defining illnesses. Today, everyone who tests positive irrespective of the their CD 4 count, receives treatment under the Treat-All Strategy that was officially launched in June last year,” he said.  

He added that in terms of access to HIV treatment, Botswana is counted amongst the five top countries in the region that have achieved more than 80% coverage and ranked first in percentage reduction in AIDS related deaths at 71%. “We should surely be optimistic about this goal of ending AIDS by 2030,” he said.

Khama further noted that for the first time in the history of this country, vulnerable and marginalised groups are included in HIV epidemic surveys and through other partners and civil society organisations, the country has been able to design tailor-made programmes to ensure that n o one is left behind in HIV interventions.

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