The Botswana Harvard Partnership Turns 20
In 1996, Botswana was at the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic ravaging southern Africa. That same year, Harvard teamed up with Botswana’s Ministry of Health to create the Botswana Harvard Partnership (BHP) to address the crisis. Twenty years later, we look back at the life-saving work done at the BHP and what the future may hold.
In January, the Botswana Harvard Partnership celebrated its 20th anniversary. At the ceremony in Gaborone, Dr. Max Essex , Chair of both the BHP and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health AIDS Initiative, delivered remarks.
The BHP Turns 20
Q&A with Dr. Joseph Makhema
When the BHP was established 20 years ago to combat HIV/AIDS at the epicenter of the epidemic, about 37% of pregnant women in Botswana were infected with HIV. Dr. Joseph Makhema was a young physician working long hours at the public hospital in Gaborone. Today, he’s the BHP’s CEO. HAI’s Martha Henry spoke with him about BHP’s history and future.
Where the Work Happens
The heart of BHP operations is the busy, three-story building on the grounds of Princess Marina, the main public hospital in Gaborone. The crowded research building houses the Botswana- Harvard HIV Reference Laboratory, the Data Management Centre, and office space for BHP staff.
Lives saved are always cause for celebration. The morning of January 26, 2017, in a hotel meeting room in Gaborone, Botswana, AIDS researchers, government officials, and others came together to celebrate 20 years of research, education, and training efforts by the BHP to end the AIDS epidemic in southern Africa.