Health: Fighting Aids in Lesotho

In a country where almost one in four people is infected with HIV, treatment is clearly an enormous need and Bracelet of Hope’s founding purpose was to raise funds for the first AIDS clinic in Lesotho. After five years of Canadian support, the Basotho Ministry of Health and Social Welfare assumed full responsibility for the clinic. Today, the clinic and its sister Outpatient Department are merged and continue to provide treatment for tens of thousands of patients. On average, Tšepong staff treat over 2,000 patients each month. Approximately 300 people receive HIV counselling and testing for the first time, and 100 new patients start ARV treatment therapy each month.

In 2006, the Tšepong Clinic began to roll out HIV-testing and treatment programs to community-based health care centres across the Leribe District. Partnered with the World Health Organization and the Lesotho Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the team organized district-wide HIV training sessions for local primary care workers, and initiated ongoing training and support to community-based nurses at more than 10 rural primary care centres.

Bracelet of Hope’s newest goal is to establish a wellness centre clinic in Lesotho. This centre will provide holistic and comprehensive care to those infected with HIV and their families. It will provide nutrition counselling, psychosocial and medical treatment while addressing the need for food security and employment. We hope that this centre will serve as a model for future centres throughout the country.

"The fight to save humankind is universal and is everyone’s responsibility."

-- Stephen Lewis