Disabled people living with HIV-AIDS complain that they have been closed out of government programmes aimed at helping people living with AIDS.
The complaint was raised at a workshop aimed at identifying, strengthening societies for people with disabilities and articulating their concerns in so far as HIV-Aids issues are concerned.
They cited the continued expulsion of people living with disabilities from national radio and television programs, despite government’s declared commitment to halting the spread of HIV in Botswana.
“It is against this background that the Disability HIV-Aids Trust is meeting today in a workshop jointly organized with the National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA) to facilitate the networking of Disabled Peoples Organizations and solicit support, with a view to mainstreaming disability issues into HIV-Aids programming” said Shirley Keoagile of The Disability HIV and Trust (DHAT), who is also Vice President of Botswana Federation of the Disabled People (BFDP).
She also bemoaned the lack of a ready database indicating the total number of people with varied disabilities across the country, which she said hampers proper planning for interventions meant to benefit the disabled.
“In the final analysis the vulnerability of PWD’s to the adverse impact of HIV-Aids can only be meaningfully reduced if concerted efforts are ensured to raise awareness among the affected groups,” she concluded.