Invest in HIV Interventions – Murphy

| December 9, 2014 | 0 Comments

It is imperative to continue to invest in relevant interventions to achieve HIV control, says acting United States (US) Ambassador Chargeacute d’Affaires, Mr Michael Murphy.

Mr Murphy, who was speaking at a New Directions in Global Health seminar and media training in Maun recently, said the US government was committed to achieving zero infections. He noted that his government had pledged P71.2 million ($7.5 million) to support Botswana’s decision to adopt and implement Option B+ through PEPFAR.

“We must continue to invest in evidence-based, high impact interventions and aocate for effective health policies if we are to realise the goal of zero new infections in Botswana,” he said. Option B+, he said, was a programme, which provided life-long treatment to HIV positive pregnant women regardless of their CD4 count.

He pointed out that the life-long treatment, which was already underway by the PEPFAR team and the Ministry of Health was cost effective, helped to prevent infant infections, saved mothers’ lives as well as reduced the number of orphans.

He noted that a lot has been achieved over the years and that new infections have dropped by 71 per cent since 2001. Mr Murphy further noted that mother to child transmission rates have dropped from a peak of around 40 per cent to nearly two per cent.

He said Botswana’s provision of free antiretroviral (ARV) treatment has become a model for countries in Africa and the world at large. However, Mr Murphy said the war was not yet over as there were cases of new HIV infections with about 45 people getting infected daily.

“If we lose focus in our efforts to control the epidemic, the gains we have achieved will unravel,” he pointed out. The seminar was organised by the US government with the District Multi Sectoral AIDS Committee (DMSAC) as well as Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA).

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Medical/Health Care

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