The Minister of Health, Dr John Seakgosing, has pleaded with civil society to forge collaboration with the Ministry of Health in an endeavor to fight the battle of HIV/Aids in the country.
During the official opening of the Tutume Baptist Church Day Care and Counseling Center in Tutume last week Friday, Seakgosing stated that although the government appreciates the importance and active role in which civil society plays in the fight against the disease, there is need for more collaborative.
“Faith-based organizations provide community leadership and advocacy, counseling, care and support services as well as promoting support therefore it becomes paramount for them to strengthen their relationship with the Ministry of Health,” he said.
Seakgosing revealed that his Ministry is currently working with BOTUSA through the Department of HIV/Aids Prevention and Care to support the newly opened Voluntary Counselling Care and Testing center in its services in Tutume. He added that through this collaborative effort, his ministry has trained two counselors, bought some furniture and procured equipment for the center, adding that through this collective effort with BOTUSA, the center will also get financial support to pay allowances for the two lay counselor positions and administrative management.
He applauded the Baptist Church in Tutume for playing an active role in responding to the call of Government to fight HIV/Aids by establishing a Day Care and Counselling Center.
“The Church has demonstrated its compassionate and caring nature to the needy in the community,” he remarked.
The Minister went further to mention that the American Embassy contributed P170,425 to facilitate the construction of an additional block of the day care center, which caters for orphans, vulnerable children and other children in need.
He also urged other villages in the satellite area of Tutume Village to follow the same trail.
“The war against HIV/Aids remains a challenging issue and it is far from won; let us soldier on to stop new infections by 2016,” Seakgosing added.
Among the prominent dignitaries who attended the event was the Self Help Coordinator of the American Embassy in Botswana, Dane Humblin.
The Tutume Baptist Day Care and Counselling Center was established in 2000 with the primary responsibility of providing HIV testing, counseling and early education services to children ranging from ages of 2.5 to 6 years in Tutume Village and its immediate vicinities.