Serowe — The out-going Serowe Administrative Authority (SAA) District Officer Mr Charles Modise says government is using a lot money to fight the HIV/AIDS scourge hence it is imperative for people to join hands to assist.
He said millions of pula had been allocated for ARV drugs and prevention measures.
Mr Modise who was speaking at the District Multi-Sectorial Aids Committee (DMSAC) meeting held in Serowe on July 30 implored Batswana to join hands with the government to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic and ensure that the country attained zero infections and zero stigma.
He also said the country needed a healthy and responsible workforce for it to develop and expressed disappointment with head of departments who do not attend DMSAC meetings.
Mr Modise emphasised that DMSAC meetings were scheduled, thus members had no excuse particularly that reminders were sent out prior to the meeting.
He said it was imperative for members to own up their reports and be precise in their reporting, observing that heads of departments were always sending junior officers to represent them at the meeting, which he said was counter productive.,
Mr Modise commended those who attended the meetings to report on how they contribute in fighting the AIDS pandemic and how they promote wellness and safety in the workplace.
He said wellness was important in bringing about efficiency in an organisation and encouraged employees to take responsibility of their lives. Mr Modise also encouraged men to undergo Safe Male Circumcision (SMC) to reduce chances of getting infected with HIV, saying the numbers of those who had already enrolled were not impressive.
Mr Modise commended the private sector and NGOs who assist the government in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
"Ending AIDS is unlikely to ever happen without integrated health system that provide HIV prevention, diagnosis, and treatment as well as care with other essential health services", he said.
He said HIV/AIDS "creates new pockets of poverty when parents and bread winners die and children leave school earlier to support remaining children themselves affected and infected by HIV/AIDS".
Mr Modise said they needed to act on the data and re-focus services to reach the populations at greatest risk, adding that this would include addressing stigma and discrimination that continue to be barriers and providing services in and with communities.
District Health Management Team (DHMT) reported that they had recorded 158 Home Based Care patients and 11 deaths this year.
On ARV they reported that they had 14, 171 clients who were currently registered for treatment, adding that they had an enrolment of 11 in Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMCT).
They have also registered 1803 affected by sexual transmitted diseases.
Concerning teenage pregnancy the DHMT registered 64 pregnancies with three out of the number below 16 years.
Their report further indicated that they had registered 43 males who came for circumcision, adding that men were reluctant to come for circumcision.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>