Botswana Lawmakers Plan Release of Report Gauging Public Opinion on National Response to HIV/AIDS
Lawmakers in Botswana at the end of December are scheduled to release a report on recent hearings that sought to gauge the public's views on HIV/AIDS issues in the country, Member of Parliament Duke Lefhoko announced on Friday, Botswana's Mmegi reports.
A delegation of MPs recently conducted hearings at 12 sites in 11 districts across the country. Lefhoko, who led the delegation that covered the eastern part of Botswana, said the hearings were planned by the National Assembly ahead of a review of the Public Health Act. He called the public hearings a method of inquiry "to get the pulse of the nation" about HIV/AIDS issues.
According to Lefhoko, the hearings resulted in discussions among residents about gaps in the national response to HIV/AIDS and the level of awareness about the epidemic. He said he was encouraged by the number of women who attended the hearings, adding that he took note of suggestions to increase counseling and information for women in home-based care, the Mmegi reports.
The report is expected to assess observations and findings on issues such as testing, disclosure and partner notification, discrimination, intentional transmission of HIV, access to treatment, counseling and prevention of mother-to-child transmission, the Mmegi reports.
Lefhoko said the report initially will be distributed among other MPs for debate, adding that the lawmakers will have the opportunity to consult further with residents of their constituencies after receiving the report (Chwaane, Mmegi, 10/16).