NACA Targets Adolescents

| June 9, 2015

New HIV infections among adolescents are a cause for concern, National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA) coordinator, Ms Grace Muzila has said.

Speaking at a National Multi-Sectoral Stakeholders Consultative meeting in Gaborone on June 3, she said there was need to come up with programmes targeting youth and key populations.

Ms Muzila said the Mid-Term Review of the National Strategic Framework II highlighted the need to prioritise and come up with targeted interventions.

She said adolescents would be prioritised in the drafting of the National Strategic Framework III. “NACA, as coordinator of HIV planning, will ensure that all stakeholders participate in the planning process,” she said.

Among 418 247 adolescents in Botswana, 9 900 were HIV positive as of 2011. It was estimated that in the years 2015-2017, 2 999 new infections in the 15-19 age group and 7 354 in the 20-24 age bracket would be recorded.

UNICEF representative, Ms Vidhya Ganesh said arresting HIV among adolescents requires strengthening prevention strategies and adherence to treatment. She said that there is a need to hand over the problems to the adolescents so that they come up with their own solutions.

“As you know, once you hand over an initiative to young people, they come up with vibrant ideas and innovative ways of doing things.

Where young people are, action will always be there,” she said. She cited an initiative dubbed ALL IN, which is driven by UNICEF, UNAIDS, WHO, PEPFAR, UNFPA and adolescent leaders.

She said that it aims to stimulate a social movement to drive better results. She said the ALL IN platform for action also exists to increase the meaningful participation of adolescents in decision making processes and to strengthen youth-led social movements.

Ms Ganesh said the campaign will also identify opportunities to link adolescent HIV strategies into existing adolescent health and development programmes.

In addition, she said the initiative will engage national leaders to coordinate, support and lead assessments of existing programmes and expand partnerships for innovation between the public and the private sector.

The ALL IN initiative aims to reduce new infections among adolescents by at least 75 percent and AIDS-related deaths among adolescents by 65 percent by the year 2020.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Medical/Health Care

Comments are closed.