11 May 2018

Lesotho: From Tsoanelo Mokhahlane in Maseru, Lesotho

Maseru — LESOTHO is making the most of technology to curb the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, which kills thousands per year.

More than 300 000 locals are living with the infection.

Some 10 000 people succumb to the condition annually.

The government this week launched a new innovative tool to track progress and identify gaps scuttling efforts to eliminate the scourge.

Monyane Moleleki, the Deputy Prime Minister, unveiled the so-called health situation room, which shows real-time service delivery data, producing a comprehensive picture and understanding of Lesotho's HIV epidemic.

It enables quick feedback on results at the national and community levels as well as identify bottlenecks in access to health-care services.

"This data collection, management and results-oriented tool is very apt for us because it means the very survival of the nation of Lesotho," Moleleki said.

Naomi Campbell, model, actress and activist, lauded the initiative launched in the Southern African country of more than 2 million people.

"I leave Lesotho empowered, inspired, encouraged and determined to do all I can to highlight this critical issue," Campbell said.

Latest data from the situation room show that Lesotho is close to having 200 000 people on HIV treatment.

However, new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24 years remain high and account for a quarter of new infections yearly.

Michel Sidibé, the UNAIDS Executive Director, said the launch of the Lesotho HIV and health situation room gave the organisation access to data to shape impactful and efficient health programmes.

"These are the kind of innovations that will bring services to those who need them most and ensure that no one is left behind by the AIDS response," Sidibé said.

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