Conversations with the Foundation's Country Directors: Lesotho
Evan Von Leer
June 2, 2010
The Foundation’s global staff numbers nearly 1,300, with more than 90 percent based in the field, at the epicenter of the pandemic. It can be difficult to find time to talk to them about the successes and challenges in their day-to-day work because, well, they are busy making those successes happen.
In March 2010, all twelve country directors met in Washington, D.C., to discuss each country’s work over the past year. We had the opportunity to sit down with each of them and learn more about the Foundation’s work in their countries. We wanted to share these conversations with you through short videos highlighted here and featured on each respective country page.
Cornelia van Zyl, country director for Rwanda, was featured last week in a post
about Foundation president and CEO Chip Lyons’ recent visit to the country.
Below, we introduce you to the Foundation’s work in the mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho
, as told by country director Dr. Leopold Buhendwa.
Lesotho from EGPAF on Vimeo.
Lesotho is in the forefront of countries in Africa making great progress in the effort to eliminate HIV and AIDS in children. The Ministry of Health has ambitious goals: to reduce new HIV infections among children by 50 percent, and to provide HIV services to all infected children and their families by next year.
The Foundation is an integral part of helping Lesotho achieve this. We were recently awarded a five-year, $25 million project by USAID to support the scale up of PMTCT and HIV/AIDS services in all ten districts of the country. The project aims to put PMTCT and HIV care in 100 percent of health facilities by 2011, and to have at least 80 percent of facilities providing ARV treatment by 2015.
The Foundation’s work in Lesotho began in 2001, providing lifesaving prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services through a partnership with the nation’s Ministry of Health. Today we are supporting 108 health facilities across Lesotho’s 10 regions.
Our results are impressive. Nearly 56,000 pregnant women have accessed PMTCT services to protect their infants from the virus, and more than 52,000 individuals have been enrolled in HIV care and treatment programs. What’s more, we’ve trained more than 350 health care workers to carry on these services long into the future. Lesotho is in the forefront of countries in Africa making great progress in its efforts to eliminate HIV and AIDS in children.
Evan Von Leer is a Media and Multimedia Associate at the Foundation based in Washington, D.C.