The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat has donated an HIV and AIDS Cross-Border Initiative (CBI) wellness clinic to the Ministry of Health and Wellness at the Tlokweng bordergate. It is the second of its type in the country whereas the first is at Kazungula.
Addressing the gathering this week, the acting director of Social and Human Development at the SADC Secretariat, Lomthandazo Mavimbela said the objective of the CBI was to reduce HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria-related morbidity, mortality and incidence of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) amongst mobile populations (especially sex workers, long distance truck drivers, migrant workers and communities around the border).
“In order to ensure smooth implementation of the CBI, each of the 12 SADC member States signed a Memorandum of Understanding, with the SADC Secretariat. In the Memoranda of Understanding, member States agreed to provide the wellness clinics with medicines and other supplies.”
“Since 2011, the SADC Secretariat has been facilitating implementation of an HIV and AIDS Cross-Border Initiative (CBI) with the support of a Grant from the Global Fund, in 12 SADC member States, namely: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe with crossborder wellness clinics established in phases,” she said.
She stated that the member States were committed to taking over management of the wellness sites at the end of the Grant, which ended in June 2017 for Phase 1 and ended in
Mavimbela said to achieve the objective of the CBI, basic HIV and AIDS and health services were provided at established wellness clinics specifically targeting high-volume border posts.
She said in total, 32 Wellness Clinics had been established in 12 SADC member States. In terms of the Grant Agreement between the Global Fund and the SADC Secretariat signed in 2015, the financial support of wellness clinics established during Phase 1 ended in June 2017 and were handed over to the member States by December 31, 2017.
She applauded the Botswana for her full support and involvement since the inception of the SADC HIV CBI, and throughout the entire period of its implementation to date.
“Botswana was indeed, among the first countries to grant tax exemptions for the importation of containers and to allocate government lands for the establishment of the Wellness Clinics. In addition, the Government of Botswana used its own budget to build the fence of the Tlokweng Wellness Clinics and to connect electricity,” she highlighted.
Currently, the facility operates with two nurses and one health care assistant. It opens its doors from 7:30am and close at 4:30pm on weekdays only.