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Wednesday, 28 February 2024

HIV prevention pill targets high risk individuals


The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA), an organisation dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS,  has confirmed with this publication that they are introducing a pill called Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrPEP) which prevents HIV transmission amongst partners.

The pill however will only be given to sex workers, Gay men as well as other people who are at a high risk of contracting the virus. The program objective is to accelerate the provision of Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to 88 percent of people assessed to be at substantial risk of HIV infection by 2023. The pill also targets negative adolescent girls and young women.

According to the third report made by the National Strategic Framework (NSF), PrEP is one of the components of HIV prevention methods. In Botswana, PrEP was recommended by the Clinical Care guidelines committee in June 2016. It has been established that PrEP is an acceptable intervention for high HIV risk populations. The Ministry of Health and Wellness together with non-governmental organisations, has initiated a phased roll out of PrEP, starting with female sex workers and man who sleep with men, followed by adolescent girls and young women, and eventually to the general population.

“It is necessary for PrEP to be initiated by an experienced health care provider who has been trained to recognize physical signs and symptoms of early HIV infection and STIs,” the report noted. The report further highlighted that the health care providers initiating PrEP need to provide comprehensive counselling and education to clients regarding strict adherence to PrEP to prevent HIV transmission. Currently, PrEP services are being piloted in two public health facilities and it is also offered in through the private sector. PrEP will be scaled up to all districts in the next five years.

The Legal Liason Officer, Tebogo Gareitsanye established with this publication that the reason why the pill is administered to a certain kind of group is because of the kind of lifestyle they live. “They are the most affected, let us address them first. HIV prevalence has reached heights within these groups and hence why they need to be given attention first,” she said. She further explained that the pill will not be given to the entire public as they do not want people to be irresponsible. As for now the PrEP is for the mentioned groups only.

“I am very weary of saying PrEP should be given to the public because it is not cost effective, “she highlighted. Another report made by  Ministry of Health and Wellness in 2017, stated that models have demonstrated that certain sexual behaviours and other risk behaviours often hidden populations such as sex work, injection drug use, and male-to-male sex have been the driving force behind concentrated epidemics.

LEGABIBO’s community Mobilisation and strengthening Manager, Bradley Fortuin highlighted that PrEP is drug that when taken daily, it reduces one’s chance of getting infected with HIV by up to 92 percent. “According to studies and Ministry of Health and Wellness, this initiative was adopted in their various programs in an attempt to help to reach the 95 goals which is for people to get tested, know their status and get enrolled in treatment. If you are HIV positive, you get enrolled in the Treat All program immediately. If you are negative and found to be at a high risk of contracting HIV you are referred to PrEP,” he explained.

He further explained that the pill is available in Botswana in limited Non-Governmental Organisations and a limited group of people including couples with mismatched HIV/AIDS status. “Men who sleep with men are enrolled at LGABIBO and Man and Health and Gender Justice. For sex workers it is rolled out through Nkaikela Youth Group,” he said. Fortuin also stated that although the pill is being dispensed, they do not encourage carelessness as the pill does not prevent HIV but reduces the chances of contacting HIV.

“It does not prevent STI’s and we still encourage people to use condoms. People are encouraged to be safe,” he said. This initiative was facilitated through the LINKAGES program under FHI 360 Botswana and it was endorsed by the Ministry Health and Wellness in partnership with PEPFAR. “This are initiatives we have been advocating for, health packaging and health services in our LGBT community. These are some of the interventions that we have called out for,” he explained.

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TV Show explores Tswana culture

6th February 2024

Logaga Lwa Ditiragalo, a cultural exchange TV show, is set to ignite a genuine appreciation of diversity in Botswana and revitalize the country’s great tourism sector. In recent years, culture in Botswana has taken a backseat, leading to tribalism and narcissism that has caused division and resentment among different ethnic groups. However, a small group of individuals is determined to bring back the golden days of culture and restore unity among the people.

The TV show, Logaga Lwa Ditiragalo, aims to shine a spotlight on the diverse ethnic groups in Botswana, such as Balete, Bangwaketse, Baherero, Bakalaka, Bangwato, Bayei, Basarwa, Bakwena, Batswapong, and Bakgatla. By showcasing the distinctive characteristics, age-old traditions, and deeply rooted values of these cultural groups, the program seeks to foster a broader understanding and appreciation for Botswana’s rich cultural tapestry.

Recognizing the pivotal role of culture in shaping human identity, Logaga Lwa Ditiragalo aims to serve as a bridge across the cultural landscape. In an era of increasing global connectivity, the show believes that exposing individuals to different ethnic cultures can cultivate understanding, nurture respect, and ignite a genuine appreciation for diversity.

Beyond its entertainment value, the TV show holds substantial benefits for Botswana. It has the capacity to preserve the country’s unique heritage, traditions, and customs, contributing significantly to the nation’s sense of identity and pride. Moreover, the program’s portrayal of Botswana’s cultural richness is expected to attract tourists, invigorating the tourism sector and creating employment opportunities, thus bolstering the country’s economic landscape.

Logaga Lwa Ditiragalo also aims to be a catalyst for social cohesion, fostering unity among people from diverse backgrounds and promoting a deeper understanding of cultural diversity. By showcasing the beauty and richness of Botswana’s cultural heritage, the program seeks to bring people together and bridge the gaps that have been created by tribalism and narcissism.

The TV show is meticulously designed to captivate audiences interested in delving into the intricacies of ethnic cultures. With a commitment to both entertainment and education, Logaga Lwa Ditiragalo will unfold over forty days, starting in October 2024, captivating viewers on TV networks and various social media platforms.

At the heart of the TV show are twenty individuals chosen to represent the cultural diversity in Botswana. The inclusion of two individuals with disabilities underscores the program’s commitment to inclusivity and aligns seamlessly with the country’s vision of promoting equal opportunities for all.

The selection process for participants involves public participation, with interested individuals casting their votes through service providers. This transparent and inclusive cultural affair ensures that the TV show truly represents the diverse cultural landscape of Botswana.

Logaga Lwa Ditiragalo sets out to revive culture in Botswana, ignite a genuine appreciation of diversity, and revitalize the tourism sector. By showcasing the unique heritage, traditions, and customs of different ethnic groups, the TV show aims to foster unity, understanding, and respect among the people of Botswana. With its potential to attract tourists and create employment opportunities, Logaga Lwa Ditiragalo holds great promise for the country’s cultural and economic landscape.








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Be with Thabo on the 14th February

6th February 2024

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and love is in the air. It’s the perfect time to celebrate with heartwarming music, and “Ha Kena Le Thabo” by the Dalom Kids is the ultimate anthem for this special day. This catchy tune not only captures the essence of the season but also carries a powerful message that resonates with listeners.

The Dalom Kids have taken the spotlight with their latest remix hit song, and it’s no surprise why. Their music has stood the test of time, and their songs are loved today as much as they were loved two decades ago. They have found a way to revamp their music, aligning it with the current times, and their collaboration with Nkosazana daughter By Master KG SA Music last year is a testament to their dedication to empowering individuals during difficult times.

“Ha Kena Le Thabo” is a song that encourages listeners to express their heartfelt appreciation towards their loved ones. It serves as a reminder to acknowledge and celebrate the love and support we receive from those who are dear to us. In a world that often moves too quickly, it’s easy to forget the significance of love and companionship. However, the Dalom Kids’ music reminds us of the indispensability of gratitude and how it strengthens the bonds we share with our loved ones.

The Dalom Kids have made a name for themselves in the South African music scene, captivating audiences for several decades. Their unique blend of contemporary sounds and traditional influences has left an indelible mark on the industry. Their songs have always carried important messages, addressing topics such as love, unity, and resilience.

Formed in 1987 by the late Daniel Tshanda, the group consists of Jacqueline Rotwana, Petronella Rampou, and Magdeline Zungu. Together, they have created music that resonates with people from all walks of life. Their songs are not only catchy but also carry a deeper meaning, touching the hearts of listeners.

“Ha Kena Le Thabo” effortlessly fits into the pattern of the Dalom Kids’ music, reinforcing the importance of acknowledging and celebrating the love we have in our lives. It serves as a reminder to slow down and appreciate the love and support we receive from our loved ones. In a world that can often be chaotic and overwhelming, this song brings a sense of calm and gratitude.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, let the music of the Dalom Kids inspire you to express your love and appreciation for those who bring joy to your life. Let “Ha Kena Le Thabo” be the soundtrack to your celebrations, as you embrace the spirit of gratitude and affection that this season represents. Take a moment to reflect on the love you have in your life and let this song be a reminder of the importance of expressing that love to those who matter most.

In conclusion, “Ha Kena Le Thabo” by the Dalom Kids is the perfect anthem for Valentine’s Day. Its catchy tune and powerful message make it an ideal song to celebrate love and gratitude. Let this song inspire you to express your love and appreciation for those who bring joy to your life. As you celebrate this special day, let the music of the Dalom Kids be the soundtrack to your celebrations, reminding you of the importance of love and companionship.


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Miss Botswana in full swing

18th January 2024

The Miss Botswana pageant is in full swing, with the top 10 finalists working tirelessly to impress the judges and secure the coveted title. This week, the finalists have been busy with their Beauty-With-A-Purpose projects, a crucial component of the Miss World pageant. The spotlight is on these young women as they showcase their commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.

The Beauty-With-A-Purpose documentation week is a crucial moment for the finalists. They will be filmed as they present their projects to the judges and the audience, highlighting the impact they have had on their communities. This aspect of the competition is particularly important, as Miss World advocates for the wellbeing of children. Therefore, the projects should be aligned with this mission and demonstrate a genuine commitment to improving the lives of children.

Unfortunately, Botswana has never won the Beauty-With-A-Purpose competition at Miss World. This suggests that previous projects from Miss Botswana queens may not have been convincing enough or may not have met the criteria set by Miss World. It is crucial for the finalists to ensure that their projects are compelling and directly address the needs of children in their communities.

The top 10 finalists for Miss Botswana are Relebanye Bakane, Anicia Gaothusi, Halle Hirschfeld, Lorato Kgangyapelo, Sebaga Manyepetsa, Otshepo Nthonyana, Charmaine Reasentse, Lefika Tladi, Emma Tshisimogo, and Christina Vanstaden. These young women have shown great dedication and passion throughout the competition, and it is clear that they are determined to make a difference.

The Miss Botswana Organization has been proactive in ensuring that the pageant is inclusive and representative of the entire country. Auditions were held across the country, allowing Batswana from all regions to participate in the journey. Additionally, a mini fashion show and beauty showcase were organized to highlight the talents and beauty of the contestants.

The Miss Botswana pageant has been a major event in the country, with 34 episodes documenting the journey to finding the next queen. The Top 30 finalists were celebrated with a grand launch, and the plans for their journey were unveiled. The organization has spared no effort in ensuring that the pageant is a memorable and impactful experience for all involved.

The highly anticipated Miss Botswana Top 10 launch will take place next week. The reigning Miss Botswana, Lesego Chombo, will represent the country at the 71st edition of Miss World, which will be held in New Delhi, India on March 2, 2024. Chombo was crowned by Polish model and Miss World 2021, Karolina Bielawska, who made a special appearance at the finale in October 2022. Chombo will now have the honor of crowning her successor at the upcoming pageant.

As the finale approaches, the heat is on in Miss Botswana’s kitchen. The top 10 finalists are working tirelessly to showcase their Beauty-With-A-Purpose projects and make a lasting impact. It is an exciting time for these young women, and the entire country is eagerly awaiting the crowning of the next Miss Botswana.


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