ACHAP interacts with Ntlo Ya Dikgosi
On the 1st of February 2017 some of the ACHAP management met with members of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi for a morning interactive session with the view of sharing insight on the success and challenges the organisation implements and explore possible areas of partnership.
The session that was held at parliament annex auditorium started with a presentation from the Acting Marketing, Advocacy and Communications Manager, Mr. Kabo Monare who shared the background and mandate of ACHAP with members of Ntlo ya Dikgosi. Monare highlighted some of the strides the organisation has made towards the national HIV/AIDS response in the Botswana, the successes and challenges the organisation is experiencing in the implementation of its programmes.
For his interactive presentation ACHAP CEO, Dr. Jerome Mafeni, enlightened members about how the country has done well in implementing treatment and prevention programmes against HIV/AIDS. “Though Botswana has done well in treatment and prevention programmes towards curbing the HIV/AIDS pandemic, it is worrisome to discover that the prevalence rate of new infections amongst youth especially young women is increasing at an alarming rate” Mafeni said. He further noted that the situation needs immediate attention to be addressed as the future of the country is perishing. He further said, “this high prevalence rate of new infections amongst our youth is cause for a concern and should be addressed immediately”.
Following presentations there was a lengthy and interaction between ACHAP management and Dikgosi. The Dikgosi under the leadership of Kgosi Puso Gaborone and Kgosi Malope II were very appreciative of the efforts by ACHAP to reverse the HIV/AIDS tide. “Let me take this opportunity to thank you for sharing with the house such an insightful information. We really recognize your efforts in our communities towards HIV/AIDS as they have reduced the rate of HIV/AIDS deaths that we experienced in the early 90’s. We know the situation was really bad” Kgosi Maruje Masunga said. He said that HIV/AIDS has now become a personal choice, therefore it is everyone’s responsibility to make an effort and make wise decisions towards their health.
From his part, Kgosi Boiditswe from Serowe promised ACHAP support on programme implementation especially within his community. “As chiefs from Serowe and surrounding areas we will contribute towards the success of your programmes in our villages. We thank you for your perseverance despite the challenges and difficulties experienced due to lack of funding. We were really worried when we heard the news of ACHAP closing. We were wondering whom to lean on in this fight against HIV” Boiditswe said. He concluded by encouraging ACHAP to press on and be hopeful despite poor response from the public since patients are naturally difficult people to reach and convince.