Panafrican News Agency

'Botswana First Lady embarks on HIV/AIDS outreach programme'

Gaborone, Botswana  (PANA) - The Botswana First Lady, Neo Jane Masisi, has embarked on a nationwide campaign called “Dipalametse” (translated as escalation) aimed at mobilising and engaging young people, families and community leaders.

This was stated by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi while officiating at this year's World AIDS day in Maun on Sunday.

President Masisi said the campaign, which is in partnership with the National AIDS and Health Promotion and Agency (NAHPA) and its stakeholders, has reached over 13,000 students from 11 secondary schools countrywide.

“As part of the ‘Last Sprint Towards Ending AIDS’, National AIDS and Health Promotion Agency ( NAHPA), the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) as lead agencies and their stakeholders have partnered with the First Lady of Botswana, Neo Jane Masisi on a nationwide campaign dubbed ‘Dipalametse,” President Masisi said.

He said the engagements had revealed pertinent issues such as weak parent-child relationships, substance abuse, multiple and concurrent partnerships, teenage pregnancy and gender based violence.

President Masisi reiterated government’s commitment to offer free Anti-Retroviral (ARV) therapy to all including non-citizens during his recent State of the Nation address.

“The results of the Botswana Havard Institute study emphasised the need to extend HIV services to non-Batswana as they directly interact with locals and could be fuelling HIV infection if not tested and treated, as few non-citizens know their HIV status resulting from a lack of access to services,” he said.

-0- PANA MS/MA 2Nov2019