DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA (4 March 2015) The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) applauds a renewed national focus on HIV/AIDS in Lesotho, which will be spearheaded by the government of the Kingdom of Lesotho since the disbandment of the National AIDS Commission in 2011.
The newly established Lesotho HIV & AIDS Authority (LeHA) is expected to scale-up the fight against HIV & AIDS in Lesotho by coordinating and regulating all national HIV & AIDS response activities as well as utilisation of all resources earmarked for such activities.
The re-establishment of a national coordinating authority has been the goal of several civil society organisations including AHF Lesotho, UNAIDS, PACT Lesotho, Doctors Without Borders and the Lesotho Council of NGOs, who, in 2014, united in the fight against HIV/AIDS with the formation of the Stakeholders Consultative Forum that aimed to develop a cohesive HIV/AIDS strategy for Lesotho.
AHF Lesotho Medical Director, Dr. David Tumuhairwe commended the government of the Kingdom of Lesotho on the establishment of LeHA.
“We have lobbied for the establishment of a government organisation to re-energize the fight against HIV/AIDS since the National AIDS Commission disbanded and are therefore eager to begin working with LeHA,” he said. “The renewed vision and founding of LeHA means it will not only lead the country’s response to HIV/AIDS but will also motivate all civil society organisations to enhance our partnerships.”
“We congratulate the Government of Lesotho’s Office of the Prime Minister for actively working to re-establish a coordinating body to replace the former National AIDS Commission,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation in a statement. “Last week, the Prime Minister’s office placed formal notices and advertisements seeking applications from concerned and qualified individuals interested in serving as members of the Lesotho HIV & AIDS Authority. From all indications, it appears this new body will reflect the overall diversity of the epidemic in Lesotho, a factor that should enhance the government and civil society’s ability to fashion more effective responses to HIV and AIDS throughout the country.”