The Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on 9th April 2018 handed over the second HIV and AIDS Cross Border Wellness Clinic situated at the Tlokweng border to the Botswana Ministry of Health and Wellness.
Representing the SADC Executive Secretary at the hand-over ceremony, the Acting Director of Social and Human Development at the SADC Secretariat, Ms. Lomthandazo Mavimbela, said since 2011, the SADC Secretariat has been facilitating implementation of an HIV and AIDS Cross-Border Initiative (CBI) with support from the Global Fund in 12 SADC Member States, namely; Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
She said the overall objective of the CBI is to reduce cases of HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria related illness, mortality and incidence of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) among mobile populations, especially sex workers, long distance truck drivers, migrant workers and communities living in close proximity of the border.
Ms Mavimbela further explained that in Botswana, two Wellness Clinics in Kazungula and Tlokweng were completed and handed over to the Government of Botswana in July 2017 and April 2018 respectively. She commended the Government of Botswana for its unwavering support and involvement since the inception of the SADC HIV and AIDS Cross Border Initiative, and throughout the entire period of its implementation.
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Wellness for Botswana, Ms Ruth Maphorisa, appreciated the decision for SADC Ministers responsible for Health and, HIV &and AIDS for the role they played in mobilising funds from the Global Fund for the implementation of the SADC HIV and AIDS Cross Border Initiative. She also thanked the Government of Botswana for availing land for the construction of the clinic and granting of the tax exemptions for the importation of prefabricated containers and equipment procured under the Global Fund grant. She promised that the Ministry of Health and Wellness will ensure sustainability of health services of the clinic within the framework of the National Health System, adopted by the Government of Botswana.
The Member of Parliament for Tlokweng Constituency, Mr Masego Kenneth Segokgo thanked SADC Secretariat and the Government of Botswana for the provision of the health facility and for the promotion of health and wellness in the country, saying it is healthy people that can make meaningful contribution to the development of the nation.