Wednesday

HIV/AIDS awareness high

BOPA

Results of the 2004 Botswana AIDS Impact Survey (BIAS) show that the awareness of HIV/AIDS in Botswana is very high.

Bamby Mothuba, Assistant Research Officer at the National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA), told the Jwaneng full council meeting last week that there was however still some critical areas that needed attention.

Such areas included in-depth knowledge on prevention of HIV, multiple partnerships and alcohol abuse.

She said, overall, results indicated that Batswana were gradually awakening to the reality of HIV/AIDS and were beginning to change their behaviour.

There is therefore reason to be hopeful and maintain momentum of the national, district and community responses.

Mothuba said Chobe had the highest rate of HIV prevalence at 29.4 per cent followed by Francistown with 24.6 per cent, Selebi-Phikwe with 23.3 per cent and Jwaneng with 19 per cent.

She said the national prevalence rate stood at 17.1 per cent. The survey was done with people of different ages, locations, professions and education.

Mothubas colleague, Joseph Kefas said the purpose of BIAS was to generate a nationally representative population-based estimate of HIV/AIDS prevalence among people of 18 months and above.

He said it also identified and documented factors associated with HIV prevention, infection and impact mitigation.

The aim was to establish core benchmarks against which successive progress on the impact of the national response to HIV/AIDS could be measured.

Meanwhile, Jwaneng Mayor, Christopher Ramolemana said the councils education committee held a meeting with the management of Kgalagadi Primary School early this year concerning poor standard seven results at the school.

He said the school management informed the committee that poor performance was due to lack of discipline among pupils as well as lack of commitment by some teachers.

Parents and guardians were also accused of failing to give both students and teachers support.

To deal with this issue several things would be done such as using team teaching through use of subject panels and effective use of afternoon studies.

Ramolemana said following the address by lands and housing minister more than a month ago about the squatting problem in the town, a task force has been formed to compile a report with recommendations to the minister within six months.

He also briefed the meeting about development projects to be carried out in this financial year.

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