Canada: Ontario Hospital Association Sending Health Care Workers to Lesotho to Help Begin Lesotho's HIV/AIDS Treatment Program
August 10, 2004
The Ontario Hospital Association plans to send Canadian health care workers to the small African country of Lesotho over the next few months to "kick start" the country's "desperately needed" antiretroviral drug program for HIV/AIDS patients, Toronto's Globe and Mail reports (Nolen, Globe and Mail, 8/7). About 31% of Lesotho's adult population is estimated to be HIV-positive (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/16). The country last month launched a national HIV/AIDS treatment program that aims to have 28,000 patients on antiretrovirals by the end of 2005. Currently, fewer than 2,000 of the 60,000 people who are eligible for treatment under the government's program receive medications, according to the Globe and Mail. Although Lesotho's political commitment to combating the disease is "almost unmatched" in the region, the government is trying to improve its understaffed health care system and fund its antiretroviral drug program, the Globe and Mail reports. "There are lots of challenges around our capacity," Lesotho Health Minister Motloheloa Phooko said, adding, "Can we really put the program on, or are we just putting castles in the sky? But we have no choice."
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.