“Like all modern communication tools of this era, we expect the website to be a reliable vehicle for communicating the national response to both the local and international communities,” said Lesego Motsumi, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, at the joint launch of both the website for the National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA) and the second Botswana National Strategic Framework for HIV and AIDS (NSF II) in Gaborone last week Wednesday.
According to Motsumi, while for a start, the newly presented strategic framework might form a major content of the website, it was also worth noting that in today’s world, websites have a vital role in interfacing with both the communities and client organizations.
“Thus we intend to use the site to brand not only NACA, but more importantly the national response, as guided by NSF II,”stated the Minister proudly.
She added that the national anti AIDS campaign should therefore be advantaged by the regular contact that some people have with the computer.
For his part, Batho Molomo, outgoing coordinator of NACA, has said that the website will play an important complimentary role by relaying both the instructive content of proposed initiatives as well as offering a portal for hastening the feedback from the interested public.
Moreover, it was stated that NACA’s mission to promote a multi-sectoral approach will find even more fertile ground to manifest, as it will be enhanced by the widened scope of information for utilization by members of the public at reduced cost compared to mandatory publication of the same stuff.
Elaborating on what he meant by a multi-sectoral approach, Molomo said, “What we are saying is that given the limited resources we have, Government or NACA for that matter cannot afford to train and deploy people around the whole country for purposes of sensitizing the population as well as facilitating implementation of all stipulated action policy positions.”
Rather, it is taken that every sector, department or stakeholder, from point of view of their mandate and capabilities could incorporate their contribution in the broader fight against HIV and prevention of new infections.
“For example for someone who is a teacher, that is what they know and can do best, so they can through a structured teaching programme or curriculum deliver the relevant education to school children at the appropriate age and by the same token the preacher would ensure that in their sermon they allocate due space for the HIV message, “highlighted Molomo.
He added that in the same vein, the nurse, the psychologist and others in their respective jurisdictions would generally be expected to see themselves as integral elements within this multispectral response.
Against that background, Motsumi had to say, “It is our rallying call for partners in the national response to align their efforts for concertedly advancing towards the attainment of our ultimate goal-Zero New Infections by 2016”.
Leveraging on the experience accrued from implementation of the first NSF, four priority intervention areas that will serve to focus and sharpen the national response have been identified, and accordingly set in order of prioritization.
It is thus intended in the Minister’s view, to meet through that prioritization, the challenges presented by the epidemic through cost effectively focusing resources and efforts in areas that are likely to yield maximum impact.