Botswana: Botswana President Dr Mokgweetsi E.K Masisi has once again paid homage to Former President Festus Mogae for his role in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Speaking at an event to mark the 20th Anniversary of Botswana-Baylor Children’s Clinical Centre of Excellence, Masisi said in the early days of dealing with HIV/AIDS, the pandemic negatively affected the economy and lives of Batswana, and it was through the leadership of President Mogae that Botswana was able to get international assistance.
Dr Masisi added that he and Botswana will forever be grateful to President Mogae for what he did for this nation during those difficult times.
Botswana-Baylor Children’s Clinical Center of Excellence is a national care and treatment facility serving children, adolescents, young adults and their families by providing treatment for HIV and associated infections, and now extends oncology care and treatment nationally.
Moreover, Former President Festus Mogae has been praised for his direction in the fight against the HIV epidemic when it first hit the country. President Mogae was held in high regard as a visionary leader who took bold steps to tackle the HIV pandemic when it threatened to reverse the economic development strides made since independence.
The admirations were made by President Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi yesterday at the Botswana-Baylor Partnership’s 20 year celebratory dinner. President Masisi highlighted that the celebration was a testament to true Public Private Partnership supported by the culture of BOTHO that ensured no one was left behind.
He said the Baylor College of Medicine provided the much-needed expertise in training and mentoring when paediatricians were few locally. He went on to say it also supports the Government of Botswana with technical expertise and policy formulation and guides the strategic direction of the care of children as well as providing an avenue for training.
President Masisi highlighted that the partnership has grown in leaps and bounds over the years. The initial engagement was on pediatric HIV, cancer, and blood disorders.
The partnership now includes pediatric surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, all cancers, vaccine development, and the recent drug and medical supply logistical support.
As part of the 20 years partnership celebrations, 27 Botswana-Baylor Children’s Clinical Centre of Excellence staff members were recognized for their selfless service to fellow country men and women. They were awarded long service awards as they diligently served in the organization for more than 15 years.