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Behavioural Change Still Challenge

FRANCISTOWN, 18 September 2016 (allAfrica) - The coordinator of the National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA), Ms Grace Muzila says behavioral change is still a challenge in the fight against HIV/AIDS.


Welcoming the media at the HIV/AIDS response briefing on Tuesday, Ms Muzila said while behavioral change was a sustainable approach, it was still a challenge.


She said the Abstain, Be faithful Condomise (ABC) methodology was no longer effective as it was prior to the introduction of ARVs. She said NACA has since resolved to involve community leaders in the advocacy of behavioral change among the community and that it was hopeful that the approach would work.


She noted that the country records about 10 000 new infections per annum.


He added that Botswana was committed to continuously plan and implement HIV/AIDS interventions, adding that the National Strategic Framework (NSF) II would run until 2017 and that already preparations for the NSF III were underway.


She, however, indicated that the government does not have adequate resources, but would continue to prudently utilise any assistance from donor organisations. She also noted that almost $32 million would be coming to Botswana through the Global Fund.


Acting advocacy and marketing manager for ACHAP-Global Fund, Mr Kabo Monare said his organisation in partnership with the relevant stakeholders has come up with eight modules that would be implemented in 18 districts.


He explained that in eight districts the focus would be on TB while in 10 districts the focus would be on HIV/TB. He said as part of implementing the modules the organisation was working in partnership with stakeholders such as BOCAIP and District Health Management Teams (DHTMs) to train the community and their leaders as a way of strengthening community systems.


He explained that they reach out to communities to discuss and empower them to come up with solutions to their health challenges without imposing solutions on them.


"Community systems strengthening is an approach that promotes the development of informed, capable and coordinated communities and community organisations to contribute as equal partners," said Mr Monare


He said in Francistown 98 individuals and two groups have already been reached. Still in Francistown, he said 59 households have been visited and two kgotla meetings have been addressed.


Mr Monare explained that through the community mobilisation, 135 TB patients were empowered with TB/HIV information while 339 community members were sensitised on TB/HIV.


"A total of 1 924 community members were screened for TB and 24 community leaders were sensitised on TB/HIV while 22 TB suspects were identified and sent for further investigations," he said.


Mr Monare noted that other areas included in the community mobilisation and sensatisation were Palapye, Selibe Phikwe, Boteti, Jwaneng, Lobatse and Mabutsane.


Source: Daily News