BOTUSA News

From the Director

President Bush announced in May his intentions to reauthorize the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and double America's commitment to $30 billion.

BOTUSA Director Dr. Margarett Davis
BOTUSA Director Dr. Margarett Davis

While it still requires Congressional approval, the announcement bodes well for Botswana and other focus countries that have especially benefited from the President's initiative.

Such an increase speaks volumes about the progress partnerships between the U.S. and other countries have made in the struggle against the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In Botswana, we are already seeing modest declines in HIV prevalence, especially among the youth, and the majority of people who need ARVs (nearly 90 percent) are receiving them.

With the prospect of increased funding comes an added burden of accountability. We must remain diligent in monitoring and evaluating our successes and failures. With this in mind, the U.S. team in Botswana has recently released the FY2006 Annual Report for PEPFAR under the theme, "Going to Scale: The Power of Partnerships."

PEPFAR is implemented by BOTUSA and other U.S. agencies, including the Embassy, the Agency for International Development (USAID), Peace Corps, the Department of Defense and the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. Each plays a role in forming partnerships with government, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector to implement programs for combating HIV/AIDS and to ensure efficient use of USG resources.

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  BOTUSA is collaboration between the Government of Botswana and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We are located at Plot 5348, Ditlhakore Way, Ext. 12; Phone: 3901696, Fax 3973117. Suggestions and comments can be emailed to Doug Johnson (johnsond@bw.cdc.gov) or Sechele Sechele(secheles@bw.cdc.gov).

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Highlights from the Annual Report include a breakdown showing how the $54.9 million given to Botswana in FY2006 was prioritized by program areas (i.e. Prevention, Care, Treatment and Capacity Building). For instance, it's interesting to note that out of the $15.2 million going to Prevention, 37% was for programs promoting abstinence and being faithful; 21% was given to Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission; 25% in programs to prevent medical transmission of HIV and 17% for condoms and other forms of prevention. It's also notable that out of the $18.5 million given to Treatment, nearly 60% was spent on purchasing ARV drugs.

The report isn't all about numbers. It also looks at how the support has affected real people and grassroots organizations. A 25- year-old HIV-positive mother in Francistown explains how PMTCT helped prevent her twin boys from being born with HIV; and a Peace Corps volunteer in Makaleng talks about her experiences working for a support group for people living with HIV/AIDS.

The United States supports the changing paradigm for development, rejecting the "donor-recipient" mentality and replacing it with an ethic of true partnership. It means relationships between equals based on mutual respect, understanding and trust, with obligations and responsibilities for each partner. We hope that the Annual Report is a step in the right direction in keeping PEPFAR transparent and a success for Botswana.