The Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) in Eswatini applied as Lead Implementer to the SADC Round III HIV and AIDS Fund for facilitating regional HIV and AIDS response aligned to response priorities articulated in National Strategic Plans.
LUCT Eswatini is working in collaboration with Botswana and Lesotho in this project. To ensure effective HIV responses cemented in country responses, the National AIDS Council in Eswatini (NERCHA), Botswana and Lesotho are key collaborating partners.
The 3 LUCT campuses intend to use their comparative advantage of a creative technology to impact the HIV and AIDS response by reaching young people and engaging them through digital media for contributing to HIV and AIDS response and ending AIDS agenda.
The 3 LUCT campuses intend to use their comparative advantage of a creative technology to impact the HIV and AIDS response by reaching young people and engaging them through digital media for contributing to HIV and AIDS response and ending AIDS agenda. A SADC delegation recently visited the country (from Monday to Wednesday, 10-12 February 2020 for the grant Pre-Award assessment at LUCT Eswatini - the lead Implementer.
The project is a beautiful replay of Eswatini, Botswana and Lesotho's historic collaboration in education, but this time at the regional response to HIV and AIDS response.
SADC Delegation Remarks at Briefing Meeting
The delegation stated that they were generally satisfied with what they had seen during their assessment visit, in terms of the capacity, the team and structures in place to deliver on the project. They urged that the project team should fast track the actions identified to facilitate the eventual award and signing-off of the grant.
The combined Botswana, Eswatini and Lesotho LUCT team thanked the SADC delegation for the opportunity to positively impact the regional HIV and AIDS response through the grant, noting that LUCT felt duty bound to partake in the HIV response as the young people who are greatly affected by the epidemic, are the core business of the LUCT focused education.
In conclusion, it was noted that the success of such a project would no doubt build capacity within the 3 LUCT campuses and countries and would provide a beautiful replay of the countries' historic collaboration in education, but this time at the regional response to HIV and AIDS response.
Summary of the Project
The goal of the project is to contribute to the reduction of new HIV infections among young people aged 15-24 years in Botswana, Eswatini and Lesotho.
Preventing new HIV infections is a major focus of the HIV and AIDS response in SADC. The primary objective of the prevention programme is to accelerate the reduction of new infections in all populations by giving priority to the populations with higher vulnerability to HIV acquisition and transmission based on geographic locations, behaviour, sex, economic status and other factors. The high HIV infections among young people ages 15-24 years remain a concerning issue in Botswana, Eswatini and Lesotho and requires combined efforts urgent attention.
This project titled “Using technology to enhance HIV prevention interventions for young people in Botswana, Eswatini and Lesotho” has been coined in line with the priorities of the Maseru Declaration on the fight against HIV/AIDS in the SADC region, with a focus on Prevention and Social Mobilization and other key national, regional and international documents. Information, communication and technology provide relevant and innovative prevention strategies for young people at increased health risk. There are however many challenges to information, communication and technology-based health services, including inadequate access and training, lower literacy levels and the need for specialized technologies. The project will contribute to addressing these challenges.