- A senior Ministry of Health official has said that the number of people who know their HIV/AIDS status in the country have increased by 20 percentage points since 2001. Operations manager of the Ministry of Health's MASA ARV programme Segolame Ramotlhwa said that when they rolled out the initiative in 2001, 90 percent of the people did not know their status.
But the number has since reduced to 70 percent. Ramotlhwa told a workshop on changing HIV/AIDS impact patterns in the wake of the ARV therapy that the ARV programmes have so far consumed at least P700 million. He said it is three to four times more costly to stabilise patients who join the programme when they are already sick. He said more resources and time are spent on such patients. Ramotlhwa said that by January this year, close to 60, 000 patients were enrolled in the programme. By 2009, 110,000 patients are expected to be on ARV. Ramotlhwa said they still face challenges of inadequate human resources and space and infrastructure. Other challenges are social-cultural such as fear of testing and stigma. When speaking on approaches to families affected by HIV/AIDS, the executive director of Botswana-Baylor Children's Clinical Centre of Excellence, Professor Gabriel Anabwani said that they have 220 families out of which 163 are on ARVs.
The Centre of Excellence has over a 1,000 children on care and treatment. He said between 10,000 and 20,000 children are living with HIV/AIDS in Botswana. The centre uses a family care model approach. Anabwani said they face the challenge of reaching out to untested family members, especially the men; overburdening the speciality clinic. The workshop was aimed at pooling knowledge and expertise about the current implications of ARV therapy. The organiser, Professor Fred Kruger from the Institute of Geography said there is need for more social research in Botswana and close monitoring of the ARV programme as the country can serve as a best practice.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.