Lesotho Times

Mosisili takes HIV test

THABA-TSEKA — Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili took an voluntary HIV test on Tuesday as part of an awareness campaign during the World Aids Day.
Mosisili took the test in Thaba-Tseka where the event was commemorated.
“I have tested and I know my results. You should know yours,” Mosisili told the crowd that had come to mark the day.
Other government officials during the campaign encouraged people to know their status.
Lesotho has one of the highest HIV infection rates at 23.5 percent.
Mosisili said there was an urgent need for people to change their behaviour because Lesotho is having new infections every year.
The prime minister also visited vulnerable households in Thaba-Tseka.
Mosisili visited two families and presented them with gifts before proceeding to the World Aids Day commemoration gathering.
He said one family was of two orphaned children who were living alone.
The other family was of an 82-year-old woman whom he said was living with her eight orphaned grandchildren.
Mosisili said the two families were living in dire poverty.
“I have seen the cruelty of Aids with my own eyes today in those families. There are two young children living on their own and a grown up woman who lives in a poor single roomed house with her eight grandchildren.”
“The poor old woman even sleeps and shares the same house with her three goats. She said she used to have five but two were stolen so she keeps them safely in the house,” Mosisili said.
He said it was only unfortunate that by Christmas the houses would still not be finished.
But he assured the family that in four months’ time from January, the house would be complete with electricity.
“I will oversee the building of those houses. I will push those that I have to work on their hands to build good quality houses,” he said.
Mosisili, ministers and other government officials tested for HIV during the proceeding of the commemoration.
He urged the public to do the same. 
The minister of health and social welfare Mphu Ramatlapeng said the government was doing all in its power to fight the spread of HIV and new infections.
Ramatlapeng said the ministry of health has managed to establish Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) across the country.   
“ART is now available across the country. However the bad news is that studies have revealed that at least 21 000 people get infected every year in Lesotho,” Ramatlapeng said.
A lot still needs to be done. People should get tested and know when to start taking medication when they are found with the infection.”
A couple suffering from HIVwhich gave a testimony of living healthily and giving birth to an HIV free baby appealed to the government to help destitute mothers with infant milk.
‘Mancheme Mokhethi begged the government to supply infant milk to mothers who are practising the Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT).
“Most of the HIV infected mothers are not employed and due to the requirements of PMTCT, they have to feed their children milk only. Most of them fail to do so because they cannot afford to buy the milk. It is too expensive.
“Mothers are forced to break the feeding process of their children, exposing them to the risks of infecting their children.
“So I appeal to the government to supply the milk to such mothers,” Mokhethi said.

Lesotho Times

Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa.

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