OHAfrica Leaves Legacy of Sustainable HIV/AIDS Treatment in Africa

TORONTO, Jan. 21 /CNW/ - For more than five years, OHAfrica - through Tšepong Clinic - has helped support HIV/AIDS treatment and testing in Lesotho, a small country in southern Africa with the third highest HIV infection rate in the world.

Launched in December 2004, one of OHAfrica's primary goals has been to help Lesotho build a locally sustainable HIV/AIDS treatment program. Today, with Tšepong Clinic having reached that goal, OHAfrica has begun transitioning the program's clinical and managerial responsibilities to the Lesotho Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW). The transition will be completed by March 31, 2010.

OHAfrica has accomplished a great deal in its time, including the introduction of antiretroviral (ARV) drug treatment programs for people living with HIV/AIDS in Lesotho, with Tšepong Clinic becoming one of the largest ARV treatment centres in the country, and increasing the number of registered patients from 116 to more than 11,300 patients.

"It's been a great privilege to work closely with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to design, implement and carry out a sustainable HIV/AIDS treatment program for the people of Lesotho," said Hilary Short, OHAfrica's Board Chair. "OHAfrica also acknowledges the talented Canadian health care professionals who shared their skills as well as the international partners and generous donors who have helped contribute to the success of our program."

As the transition from OHAfrica to the MOHSW takes place, OHAfrica will continue to provide clinical physician and nurse practitioner prescriber coverage for the month of January and nurse practitioner coverage to the end of February 2010. Management support will also be made available, if needed, throughout the month of February 2010.

OHAfrica is pleased to have worked in partnership with the MOHSW over the past five years to reach this significant milestone.

For more information about OHAfrica, visit www.ohafrica.ca.

SOURCE OHAFRICA

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Ian Campbell, Executive Director, OHAfrica, (416) 205-1457, icampbell@ohafrica.ca

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