Mokhotlong District Aids Committee established

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By Lineo Ramatlapeng

The National Aids Commission (NAC) is on a drive to establish district Aids committees in three districts of Quthing, Mohale’s Hoek and Mokhotlong in a new decentralisation effort delayed by COVid-19.

The District Aids Committee (DAC) is meant to work as a local body for the monitoring of non-clinical HIV/AIDS interventions in the three districts.

KDNews last week witnessed the establishment of the Mokhotlong district Aids committee with members sensitised and given a weeklong training on their duty in monitoring the district’s non-clinical HIV/AIDS interventions.

The NAC’s Civil Society Organization Coordinator Tankiso Mokhohlane said their objectives include empowering the DAC to oversee and coordinate the HIV/AIDS response at the district and community level Mokhotlong.

Mokhohlane explained that their role is to also capacitate media personnel on how decentralization of the HIV/AIDS response rolls out and to ensure that Lesotho output monitoring system for HIV/AIDS (LOMSHA) as a reporting tool, is fully appreciated by all stakeholders.

He said their expected outcomes are improving the functionality of the DAC, having improved supervision and coordination role to the implementing partners and integrated implementation of programmes by the implementing partners at the district levels.

Hlompho Motsoasele, a monitoring and evaluation officer with the NAC said the Commission’s role is to coordinate the national, multi-sectoral HIV/AIDS response and provide strategic leadership aimed towards ending HIV/AIDS by 2030.

Motsoasele said, “According to LePHIA 2017 HIV prevalence was 25.6% and 2020 23% in Lesotho”.

He said factors contributing to the decline in new infections are PREP and PEP, VMMC, condoms and treatment as prevention and increased knowledge on HIV with support to those affected and living with HIV.

Motsoasele added that there was high HIV incidence in men above the age of 25 years in Mokhotlong because of migrant men engaging in transactional sex, inter-generational sex, low coverage of key care and interventions (testing, diagnosis, ART).

“Progress towards 90:90:90: targets LePHIA 2017 was 81:92:88: and 2020 was 90:97:92,” Motsoasele said the number showed that they have reached their targets and now they are aiming higher.

Motsoasele said HIV/AIDS in the COVID-19 era requires strengthening of health systems which is policy alignment to COVID-19 regulations and disruption of health services being industrial action by health care workers and no community interventions.

Motsoasele added that there should be reporting of HIV/AIDS services, behaviour change programmes for young people and adults and integration of programmes on BGV and HIV.