HIV/AIDS centre celebrates 10 years
PABALLONG Trust this week marked ten years of providing a holistic range of HIV and AIDS services to the Sehlabeng sa Thuathe community in the Berea district.
The trust opened its doors in 2007 after professionals from various fields including health and education got together to set up a community centre to respond to the challenges posed by the high prevalence of HIV /AIDS in the country.
Speaking to the Lesotho Times on the sidelines of the commemorations, the Nurse in Charge and Administrator, Tebesi Mabote said the centre had registered tremendous progress in the provision of services ranging from availing anti-retroviral (ARTs) drugs, a free health clinic, food from its farm, day care centre and youth centre for orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs).
“We had to ensure that we cater for children especially the OVCs through the provision of meals and a day care centre,” Mr Mabote said, adding they did this to reduce the burden on their siblings who often acted as guardians.
“We also created a youth club where they engage in sporting activities and are taught life skills to protect them from being infected with HIV,” Mr Mabote said.
Health Minister, Molotsi Monyamane attended the ceremony and used the occasion to officially open the Dr Neville Sacks Hall that was built in 2015 in honour of the late American Dr Neville Sacks who passed on in 2015.
Dr Sacks was instrumental in encouraging the USA Aqualia Foundation to offer financial support to Paballong Trust.
Dr Monyamane said he was impressed by the trust’s response to government’s call to assist in the fight against the AIDS by caring for the infected and affected.
“I am very much impressed by the way they have handled everything. They have a farm and a kitchen where they prepare meals for those who seek health services,” Dr Monyamane said.
He revealed that his ministry was working with the Berea district administrators to ensure the centre was given adequate support in the form of nurses who would provide outreach programmes, attend to patients for check-ups and ART services.