30.11.2015: RELOCATION OF NACA TO THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH: BONELA’S POSITION

 

The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA); a key stakeholder in the national response to HIV/AIDS in Botswana, have not received any formal communication about the National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA)’s relocation to the Ministry of Health.

It is against this background that BONELA wishes to make its position clear on the relocation of this important structure of the national response on HIV as follows:

Although it is not clear how the integration of NACA into Ministry of Health will be effected; we need to remind ourselves as to why NACA was established in the first place. This will help us understand whether this function can still be performed in an integrated approach to health. It is also important to understand whether NACA will still maintain its current form in terms of structure. But given the absence of detail regarding the relocation of NACA, it makes it very difficult to make this assessment.

Nonetheless, BONELA maintains that the following should be maintained and ensured in the process of integration:

  1. Coordination of the national response to HIV/AIDS SHOULD NOT be compromised by this move. We want to see an enhanced coordination of existing structures and a more robust management of the different players in the national response to HIV/AIDS in Botswana.
  1. Therefore, the multi-sectoral response to HIV/AIDS should be  maintained and enhanced
  1. Communities including Civil Society organisations should be recognised as equal partners in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Therefore the integration of NACA into MoH should clearly define the structures of engagement therein
  1. We also hope that the move will still maintain HIV as a major health problem in Botswana, therefore allocation of resources will continue to recognise this fact.
  1. In an ideal situation the move is expected to contribute towards health systems strengthening and we hope that NACA will improve the functionality of Ministry of Health

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For more information please contact us at 3932516 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Like our face book page: BONELA

16.11.2015-BONELA SCOOPS THE 2015 FREEDOM OF EXPESSION AWARD

The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA); came first in the ‘Freedom of Expression’ category of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA); the Botswana Chapter Awards which were held on the 14th of November 2015. The prestigious category pitied BONELA against 2 other strong nominees and BONELA emerged victorious.

Although it was the first time that BONELA had been nominated; the Award proved that we continue to make an impact in awareness raising and partnering with media houses to use both the electronic, print and social media as a medium to educate the public, disseminate information and communicate issues of HIV, TB, sexual and reproductive Health and human rights in Botswana.

We also use the media to monitor human rights violations and build evidence for advocacy. BONELA is therefore, grateful to the partnerships built with media houses in general and the continued support in reaching the public with information. We will continue to share our positions on the various rights issues without fear or favour.

BONELA further wishes to congratulate MISA Botswana for its 20 years anniversary!

For more information:

Cindy Kelemi on +267 393 2516 (o); +267 72385054 (m); This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow us on our Face book page: BONELA our Twitter handle @bonelaethics

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16.11.2015:BONELA JOIN THE NATION IN MOURNING

The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA); joins the nation in mourning for the untimely passing of seven students after tragedy incident involving a truck carrying 126 students that overturned on Friday in Dutlwe village.

We send our deepest condolences to the bereaved families, Matsha Senior Secondary School, friends, and the entire Botswana population. As a middle income country; Botswana should not be transporting students in cattle trucks and BONELA calls on duty bearers to take accountability and provide answers to the nation on the safety and security of students in schools as well as when they are undertaking trips.

We further implore Government to take responsibility in ensuring that the Children’s Act of 2009 is upheld for the promotion of the physical, emotional, intellectual and social development as well as the general welfare of children, therefore, the state is responsible for the provision of psychosocial support to both parents and children.

Once again; our deepest condolences and the souls of the parted students rest in peace.

BONELA provides free legal services.

For more information:

Cindy Kelemi on +267 393 2516 (o); +267 72385054 (m); This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Felistus Motimedi on +267 393 2516 (o); +267 73652185 (m); This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow us on our Face book page: BONELA our Twitter handle @bonelaethics

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22.07.2015: COURT OF APPEAL TO CONSIDER FOREIGN PRISONERS’ RIGHT TO HIV TREATMENT

Gaborone – On Thursday, 23 July 2015, the Botswana Court of Appeal will hear arguments in an appeal against a 2014 High Court judgment in which the government was ordered the provide HIV-positive foreign prisoners with antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.

       What:              The Botswana Court of Appeal will hear arguments in Attorney General and Others v Tapela and Others, a case concerning the rights of HIV-positive non-citizen prisoners to access ARVs.

Where:            Court of Appeal, Gaborone, Botswana

When:            09:30 am, Thursday, 23 July 2015

In August 2014, two foreign prisoners and the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) succeeded in a High Court challenge against the government’s policy refusing to provide HIV-positive foreign prisoners with ARVs. The High Court held that the policy violated the Prisons Act, the common law and the prisoners’ constitutional rights to life, freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment, and to equality. It ordered that all HIV-positive foreign prisoners who meet the treatment criteria be provided with ARVs.

The State parties appealed the decision to the Court of Appeal. The government appellants argue that the State is not legally obliged to provide the treatment at State expense and that budgetary policy considerations underlie the refusal. BONELA persists in its arguments that the government is legally and constitutionally obliged to provide ARV treatment to all HIV-positive prisoners who meet the treatment criteria. BONELA argues that denying the prisoners’ rights goes against public health interests.

BONELA is represented by Advocate Gilbert Marcus SC, Advocate Isabel Goodman and Tshiamo Rantao of Rantao Kewagamang Attorneys.

For more information:

Cindy Kelemi, Director, BONELA: +267 393 2516 (o); +267 72385054 (m); This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Annabel Raw, HIV/AIDS Project Lawyer, SALC: +27 (0)10 596 8538; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For background on the case: http://www.southernafricalitigationcentre.org/cases/ongoing-cases/botswana-securing-access-to-hiv-treatment-for-prisoners/

For Twitter updates: #BONELA

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