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Lesotho near target to end AIDS

EGPAF - Lesotho Country Director Tšepang Mohlomi

March 6, 2021 3 min read

3 min read

APART from celebrating the arrival of the first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine which provides hope for control over the pandemic, Lesotho is this week also celebrating the achievement of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 target, which indicates that the country is closer to the end of the AIDS pandemic.

In celebrating this milestone, the Director General of Health Services in the Ministry of Health Dr Lucy Mapota, said 90 percent of the population knows their HIV status and 97 percent of those aware of their HIV status are on treatment while 92 percent of those on treatment are virally suppressed.
She said the achievement would have not been possible if the ministry did not remain faithful to its policies.

Dr Mapota noted that this was also made possible by working together with partners, adding that the ministry acknowledges the partnership which ensures that the country moves towards the epidemic control.
The Deputy Country Director of USAID Ian Membe said the partnership with communities, health facilities and the Ministry of Health together with other partners has been effective.

The partnerships he further showed should become the backbone of HIV/AIDS programme in Lesotho, adding that Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT) has had a huge impact in the country.
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) - Lesotho Country Director Tšepang Mohlomi said through generous support of donors, EGPAF's work to control the AIDS epidemic has been possible.

She said collaboration with civil societies has been pivotal, adding that working together with implementing partners is essential while also minimising duplication.

Ms Mohlomi acknowledged clients for ensuring their own well-being as well as staying healthy.
EGPAF Project Director Dr Mamello Sekese said the achievement has been made possible by among others, the enhancement of quality of care made, through revamped filing and data systems to better monitor patients.

She noted that client-centred approaches have been implemented, adding that differentiated models of care are client-tailored approaches that aim to serve persons living with HIV better and reduce burden on the health system.

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Dr Sekese said a significant progress has been made in terms of viral load coverage, adding that they will continue to work with communities to ensure the viral load suppression.
For her part, EGPAF-Lesotho Technical Director, Dr Esther Tumbare said the attainment of the 90-90-90 target is worth celebrating.

She said Lesotho was one of the first countries in the region to adopt ' Test and Treat' which proved to be a pivotal milestone towards the attainment of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets.

Dr Tumbare further showed that a critical human resources shift was made adding that intensified case identification was ensured. She said data is an ingenuous way of monitoring progress and that there has been a rapid increase in ART initiation between 2017 and 2020.
The 90-90-90 target provided that by 2020, 90 percent of all people will know their HIV status, 90 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90 percent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have the viral load suppressed.

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