HIV/AIDS Could 'Wipe Out' Lesotho

Armen Hareyan's picture

HIV/AIDS has the "potential to wipe out" Lesotho because of its impacton the country's population and economy, Keketso Sefeane, chiefexecutive of the National AIDS Commission, said at a workshop onMonday, Xinhua News Agency reports. According to Sefeane,the disease's impact on Lesotho's work force, including the loss ofskills and experience, decreases economic productivity and hinders thesustainable delivery of goods and services to the country's population."Absence, illness, deaths and early retirements due to HIV and AIDShave profound implications for economic development and socialwelfare," Sefeane said.

Representatives from Lesotho'sministries of defense, trade, public service, finance, cabinet andhealth attended the five-day workshop. Attendees were scheduled tocreate prevention programs, as well as care and support initiatives, toalleviate the impact of HIV/AIDS-related staff losses in the publicsector. According to Sefeane, Lesotho's entire population should becomeinvolved in the fight against HIV/AIDS because the disease threatensthe livelihoods of millions of workers and their dependents. About onein four adults in Lesotho is living with HIV, according to 2006statistics from the United Nations (Xinhua News Agency, 8/20).

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