National Emergency Response Council on HIV/AIDS

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Communities at the centre of the HIV and AIDS response in 2020 in Eswatini

In opening the Second Session of the 11th Parliament on the 31st January 2020, His Majesty’s directive for the HIV response in 2020 was that the HIV response must be planned at Inkhundla (constituency) and chiefdom levels, which will put the communities at the centre of the epidemic and this approach would ensure that no one is left behind.
Addressing HIV and AIDS issues, His Majesty assured the nation that ending AIDS by 2022 is on track. The King said in 2019, the world united in France to mobilize resources for the fight against HIV/AIDS where Eswatini pledged US$6 million over a three-year period. He said from this pledge, the country was pleased that the Global Fund had in turn committed the highest amount ever received by the Kingdom. He said this would enhance the country’s performance on the global HIV indicators which had shown great improvement over the last three years.
“The number of new HIV infections are decreasing, AIDS-related deaths declining and people living with HIV on treatment are virally suppressed,” he said. The King further added that mothers were giving birth to children free from HIV, and that these were all positive signs that Eswatini was indeed on the right track to achieve its vision of ending AIDS as a public health threat.
His Majesty noted though, that in as much as there were great successes, there was still a lot to accomplish in the next 2 years and efforts must reach the most vulnerable populations at risk of contracting HIV. He further extended appreciation for the technical and financial support received from development partners.

Communities at the centre of the HIV and AIDS response in 2020 in Eswatini

In opening the Second Session of the 11th Parliament on the 31st January 2020, His Majesty’s directive for the HIV response in 2020 was that the HIV response must be planned at Inkhundla (constituency) and chiefdom levels, which will put the communities at the centre of the epidemic and this approach would ensure that no one is left behind.
Addressing HIV and AIDS issues, His Majesty assured the nation that ending AIDS by 2022 is on track. The King said in 2019, the world united in France to mobilize resources for the fight against HIV/AIDS where Eswatini pledged US$6 million over a three-year period. He said from this pledge, the country was pleased that the Global Fund had in turn committed the highest amount ever received by the Kingdom. He said this would enhance the country’s performance on the global HIV indicators which had shown great improvement over the last three years.
“The number of new HIV infections are decreasing, AIDS-related deaths declining and people living with HIV on treatment are virally suppressed,” he said. The King further added that mothers were giving birth to children free from HIV, and that these were all positive signs that Eswatini was indeed on the right track to achieve its vision of ending AIDS as a public health threat.
His Majesty noted though, that in as much as there were great successes, there was still a lot to accomplish in the next 2 years and efforts must reach the most vulnerable populations at risk of contracting HIV. He further extended appreciation for the technical and financial support received from development partners.

PLHIV Support Groups respond impressively to NERCHA’s call for Expression of Interest for Livelihood Support

Impressive response by Support Groups
The application process (which included downloading forms from the NERCHA social platforms or collecting them from the Regional HIV and AIDS Coordinating Offices based at the Regional Administrators Offices, filling it and submitting electronically or by hand) closed on Friday 24 January 2020. The response was quite impressive – to say the least.
In total there were 152 support groups that submitted applications through the provided forums (21 were mailed electronically and 131 hand delivered at the various regional). There were 27 applications received in the Hhohho, 42 in the Lubombo, 43 in Manzini and 40 in the Shiselweni.
Unsurprisingly, many of the submitted applications were from mixed membership support groups that are predominantly made up of women. Significantly, though just a drop in the ocean, Hhohho and Shiselweni each received a single application from an all-male support group - a commendable step in the right direction. Worth mentioning too, is the application received by the Lubombo region, from the support group constituting out-of-school young women, aged 15-25 years.
Currently, the various regional committees are sifting through the applications to ascertain eligibility as well as short list potential projects that could be granted the seed money. The next step will be to announce names of those support groups that have been shortlisted and further guiding them to submit tailored applications – using a different application form to be availed only to those shortlisted.