Realising the right to health for children with HIV/AIDS in Botswana: Policy based approach v rights based approachPosted: 13 August, 2013 Filed under: Rashid Dumbuya | Tags: African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of a Child, Botswana, children, Children's Act, constitution, Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), HIV/Aids, ICESCR, mother-to-child transmission, public health, Public Health Act, right to health, South Africa, TAC, Treatment Action Campaign 1 Comment
Author: Rashid Dumbuya
LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa) candidate, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Barrister and Solicitor, Sierra Leone
Botswana faces significant challenges on the HIV/AIDS epidemic. According to the third Botswana AIDS Impact Survey (BAIS III) which took place in 2008, 17.6% of Batswana were living with HIV/AIDS. The survey revealed that about 18 000 children below the age of 19 were HIV positive.
Strong political commitment at national level has however resulted in impressive scale up in HIV treatment for children under the Prevention of Mother-to-child Transmission programme. Children are currently treated in about 33 centres issuing antiretroviral drugs. However, Baylor Children’s Clinical Centre of Excellence provides a more in-depth pediatric content. There are also community-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as Child Line, Mpule Kwelagobe Centre, SOS Children’s Home and Paolo Zanichelli Children’s Centre that are currently providing specialised services to vulnerable children. It is however important to point out that, in Botswana, the needs of HIV/AIDS affected children are not provided for in a comprehensive National legal framework. Care and treatment for children with HIV is currently addressed in overall HIV policy guidelines.