Civil Society Organizations have been called upon to build strong partnerships with key stakeholders and complement government’s efforts to fight HIV-Aids. The call to arms was made by National Aids Coordinating Agency Chief Planner, Robinson Dimbungu, last week during a workshop organized by Forum Syd.
Dimbungu stressed that government needs the assistance of CSOs in the fight against HIV-Aids, especially as they understand the socio-economic structures of the local communities better.
He further indicated that while NACA has always had a good relationship with CSOs, there is still a need to strengthen such working relationships going forward. Dimbungu further stated that Botswana is doing very well in terms of providing access to treatment.
“While progress has been made in fighting HIV-Aids, government still spends a lot of money on treatment and prevention, which is unsustainable in the long term. It is only through positive behavior change that we can win the fight HIV and Aids. The situation is also made worse by the fact that our economy is vulnerable to external shocks,” he said.
In the current National Strategic Framework II (NSF II), prevention of new infections has been identified as paramount, and information will be a top priority in instilling behavior change to the communities.
Dimbungu added that NACA is willing to work with all stakeholders and further link them to the other partners so that there is harmonization of operations to ensure proper planning.
Forum Syd is an international NGO which was established in Sweden. Its objective is to cooperate with a large number of organizations and networks worldwide, especially the civil societies through development cooperation, influences on public opinions, advocacy, capacity building and working with the right approaches.┬áIt has four partners in Botswana, namely Botswana Council of NGOs (BOCONGO), Botswana Network of Ethics on Law and HIV Aids (BONELA), Botswana Network of Aids Service Organizations (BONASO) and lastly the Botswana Network of People┬á living with HIV/AIDS(BONEPWA).
The prime purpose of the workshop was to strengthen the partnerships between CSOs.