The Government of Botswana has made a strong national commitment to fighting HIV, and was one of the first countries in Africa to launch a nationwide response to the HIV epidemic and to offer free antiretroviral treatment to its citizens living with HIV. The estimated HIV prevalence in Botswana is 21.9% among population aged 18 months and older, which is down from over 25% a decade ago. There are currently about 360,000 people living with HIV, and of those, more than 300,000 are on treatment. [UNAIDS 2017].
In 2003, I-TECH began to partner with the Government of Botswana to combat HIV and has continued to work closely with the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Global AIDS Program, and local and international partners to respond to the health needs of the people of Botswana.
With I-TECH support, the MOHW has made great strides in HIV Testing Services; laboratory systems continuous quality improvement; monitoring and evaluation of HIV and tuberculosis; health informatics; and operations research. I-TECH Botswana has been providing direct service delivery and technical assistance in support of the Government of Botswana’s health priorities, specifically targeting the first 90 of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals—that 90% of the population knows their status. Sustainable transition to local ownership is a key component of all work conducted by I-TECH Botswana.
In 2020, I-TECH launched the Botswana Training and Education Center for Health (B-TECH), an independent, locally registered organization. Through funding from HRSA, CDC, and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), I-TECH and B-TECH work in close partnership to implement programs such as improving direct service delivery and continuous quality improvement approaches; providing cervical cancer screening, treatment, and care; and developing and maintaining a national COVID-19 vaccine registry.