12 September 2008:
BONELA’S EFFORTS ON SIBANDA YIELD FRUIT: Sibanda to get Medical Assistance in Zimbabwe
The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA’s) efforts have yielded fruit as international organizations have responded to calls by BONELA to provide treatment in the interest of safeguarding public health for Mthandazo Sibanda, a Multi-drug Resistant Tuberculosis patient who was deported from Botswana to Zimbabwe last week.
BONELA is overjoyed at efforts currently underway through the initiative of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in Zimbabwe to provide treatment for Sibanda. Commenting through a telephone interview, Andrew Gethi from the IOM unit in Plumtree said that his organization was playing a facilitation role in ensuring that Sibanda gets treatment.
He said: “Currently, our team of doctors has taken samples from Sibanda to determine the stage of his illness and we are also liaising with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in Zimbabwe and CDC to get treatment for him.” He added that his organization would have been happy to receive Sibanda instead of him having to go through immigration at the border and then finding his own way home.
BONELA also takes this opportunity to commend the media fraternity in Botswana for the role they played in this case of keeping the public informed on Sibanda’s case and BONELA’s efforts to help his cause. Special mention goes to the Monitor which first broke the story on Sibanda, thereby generating interest from BONELA.