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:
- 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.
- Therefore, the multi-sectoral response to HIV/AIDS should be maintained and enhanced
- 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
- 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.
- 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