The government of the Republic of Botswana was one of the first countries in Africa to launch a nationwide response to the HIV epidemic. With an estimated prevalence rate of 19% and incidence rate of 2.92% among those aged 18 months–64 years according to the 2013 Botswana AIDS Impact Survey, Botswana continues its efforts to overcome HIV, as well as tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections. I-TECH joined the efforts of the Government of Botswana to combat HIV in 2004, and continues to work closely with the Ministry of Health (MOH), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Global AIDS Program, and local and international partners to respond to the current health needs of the people of Botswana.
Drawing on expertise from I-TECH’s global network, including the University of Washington and the University of California, San Francisco, I-TECH Botswana offers technical assistance to achieve the Government of Botswana’s health priorities, strengthen the health care workforce, and build the national health system infrastructure. I-TECH Botswana does this by utilizing the government's strengths in curriculum development, training, systems strengthening, quality improvement, monitoring, evaluation and research, and service delivery to support government partners in their response to HIV/AIDS. Sustainable transition to local ownership is a key component of all work conducted by I-TECH Botswana.
I-TECH Botswana has had a vast portfolio of activities since 2004, with past activities and achievements including:
- a robust secondment program where I-TECH supported staff were placed within the Botswana Ministry of Health and the University of Botswana to build technical capacity in institutional planning, management, leadership, and other areas;
- support to the nationwide safe male circumcision program through direct service provision and national coordination;
- support for sustainable prevention, care, and treatment for Batswana living with tuberculosis and TB/HIV co-infection;
- support to the national prevention of mother-to-child transmission activities and roll-out of monitoring systems;
- monitoring and evaluation trainings and development of staff within the cadre; and
- operations research activities of MOH programs and activities.
Care and Treatment
- Cervical Cancer: To strengthen human resource capacity in Sexual and Reproductive Health; the development and support of national cervical cancer services including the secondment of the national cervical cancer program coordinator.
- Positive Health, Dignity, and Prevention: To strengthen capacity of healthcare workers to integrate positive health, dignity, and prevention (PHDP) into existing HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment.
- Quality Improvement: To strengthen health systems to improve quality of HIV service delivery in Botswana through the secondment of a quality improvement technical advisor and support for the development of continuous quality improvement activities at the Ministry of Health.
- Laboratory: To strengthen laboratory capacity in diagnosis and management of HIV/AIDS and related opportunistic infections through advanced laboratory in-service trainings for laboratory health care workers.
- Botswana Combination Prevention Program (BCPP): To support the program through seconding the BCPP national coordinator and project officer to the Ministry of Health.
- HIV Testing and Counselling (HTC): To increase capacity of non-laboratory-based HTC providers at voluntary counselling and testing sites as well as Ministry of Health facilities across Botswana for quality and sustainable HIV testing through secondment of a laboratory officer, and provision for trainings and support to the HTC sites throughout the country.
- To strengthen strategic information systems by supporting development of robust national health information systems.
- To ensure accountability, appropriate policy formulation, program improvements, and efficient resource allocation for HIV and other health programs at the district and national levels through operation research activities as requested on Ministry of Health.
- Male Circumcision Basic Program Evaluation (MCBPE): To conduct operations research to determine influence of safe male circumcision services on sexual behavior and through a longitudinal cohort study.
I-TECH Botswana designs, plans, implements, and monitors programs to ensure efficient transition to local ownership and support strong and sustainable national health systems. Together, I-TECH Botswana, the Government of Botswana, and other partners continue to build an effective and sustainable health care system; an enduring step toward meeting Botswana’s health challenges and supporting the future of its people.
1. Government of Botswana, Preliminary Results Botswana AIDS Impact Survey IV (BAIS IV), 2013 Stats Brief, S. Botswana, Editor. 2013.