As a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) - oriented organisation, the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) subscribes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which calls for universal action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. The 17 SDGs recognise that action in one area will affect outcomes in others and that development must balance social, economic and environmental sustainability. In this regard, HRDC takes note of the SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being target that by 2030, there must be an end to the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.

Against this background, HRDC participated at the World AIDS Day Commemoration held in Maun on the 1st December, 2019 in Maun held under the theme, “Communities Makes a Difference.” The event attracted representatives from different embassies, senior Government officials, Government departments, parastatals, district leadership and other stakeholders. The event afforded HRDC an opportunity to interact with its myriad stakeholders, informing them about our mandate and other CSR programmes that we are currently engaged on across the country.

Speaking during the commemoration, His Excellency, The President of the Republic of Botswana, Dr Mokgweetsi E.K Masisi said his administration is committed to strengthening the response to be more community-led and rights-based so that ‘no one is left behind’ in the process. He also explained that the focus on the HIV prevention roadmap building up to 2020 was primarily on HIV prevention, the promotion as well as the provision of effective tools to prevent HIV infections. “In order to achieve these targets, the emphasis is to empower communities as change agents so that they can play a crucial role in HIV treatment and care. It is in this regard that the key principles to attain the 2020 targets should be based on community - led interventions through their engagement at all levels,” said His Excellency, Dr Mokgweetsi E.K Masisi.

His Excellency, Dr Mokgweetsi E.K Masisi also stated that a study conducted by the Botswana Harvard Institute (BHI) indicate that HIV combination prevention programme has revealed that it provides high impact benefits that greatly reduce new infections and HIV mortality. He therefore announced that the country is committed to offering a variety of services to its citizens in line with the 2020 United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) prevention roadmap. His Excellency, Dr Mokgweetsi E.K Masisi also indicated that Botswana had taken a decision to offer anti-retroviral therapy to all including non-citizens, for free.

The Maun World AIDS Day Commemoration enabled the public to interact with different Organisations as it became evident that upon visiting their stalls they had the opportunity to be further informed about the HIV and AIDS pandemic. They also learned more about the mandate of the different Government Ministries and Departments, Parastatals and Non-Government Organisations (NGO) that exhibited their products and services at the event. HRDC also had an opportunity to inform the public about its different strategic initiatives and programmes as well as how the public and other stakeholders could benefit from its different offerings.

News Date: 
Sunday, December 1, 2019