Counseling and testing

ACHAP funded consultation meetings leading to the routine HIV/AIDS testing policy. HIV/AIDS/ counselling and testing (HCT) services are an important component of a comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention response. They are the entry point to both prevention and treatment. In Botswana where access to treatment services is well established, HIV/AIDS counselling and testing provides an opportunity for people to access the required post test services that include treatment. Therefore HCT services are significantly and aggressively promoted. With the introduction of both voluntary and routine HIV/AIDS counselling and testing, (VCT) there has been a tremendous increase in the numbers of people seeking these services as well as those enrolling for treatment.

Since 2004, ACHAP has continued to provide support to the HIV/AIDS testing and counselling services through infrastructure development, promotion of IEC efforts in support of HIV/AIDS testing, human resource capacity development, donation of supplies and equipment including 23 computers and software for capturing data in the routine HIV/AIDS testing programme, and procuring rapid HIV/AIDS test kits. In 2008, ACHAP procured 15, 000 rapid HIV/AIDS test kits (500,000 tests) to be used by the Government of Botswana (GOB) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in provider initiated (routine) and client initiated (voluntary) HIV/AIDS testing programmes.

Partnership with Non Governmental Organizations

ACHAP has had partnership with a number of Civil Society Organisations since 2002. From its beginnings, ACHAP identified NGOs as critical partners in the fight against HIV/AIDS/AIDS and has continuously committed to supporting their HIV/AIDS interventions. The current partnership with Civil Society Organisations includes six NGOs working in different HIV/AIDS intervention areas.

The NGOs that are in partnership with ACHAP include Botswana Christian AIDS Intervention Programme (BOCAIP), Botswana Family Welfare Association (BOFWA), Tebelopele, Youth Health Organisation (YOHO), and Botswana Network of people Living with HIV and AIDSs (BONEPWA), and Botswana Network of AIDS Services Organisations (BONASO).

NGO Capacity Needs Assessment

NGOs continue to be challenged regarding achievements of set targets, hence successful implementation of set activities. Realising this challenge, ACHAP subcontracted Academy for Educational Development (AED) to undertake a capacity needs assessment for NGOs and define capacity-building plans for selected NGOs working in partnership with ACHAP. This was seen as an important development towards understanding not only the capacity gaps but defining strategies on how best to address the needs of NGOs to further facilitate their effective response to HIV/AIDS/AIDS in Botswana. The fact that NGOs continued to perform below their set targets was a shortcoming in achieving national targets in the areas of HCT, HIV/AIDS prevention and greater involvement of PLWAs. The assessed NGOs included BONASO, BOCAIP, YOHO, BOFWA, BONEPWA and Tebelopele.

The approach used to gather information included learning Opportunity, prioritization, participatory and benchmarking techniques. NGOs organisational development was measured across a spectrum of four stages of organisational development as follows: Beginning, Developing, Expanding, and Mature. The common gaps across the six NGOs were:

  • Development of Organisational Monitoring and Evaluation Plans
  • Training in data management and analysis
  • Strengthening skills of Board Members
  • Revision of Financial Policies and Procedures
  • Recruitment HR staff member
  • Develop or strengthen HR policies and procedures
  • Strengthen IT infrastructure
  • Strengthen relations with Government of Botswana and stakeholders
  • Strengthen and document referral system
  • Realising the diverse capacity gaps of partner NGOs the findings were shared with a number of development partners with a purpose to assist the NGOs to build their capacity.