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March 24, 2004
Mayor Miller celebrates Toronto-Botswana HIV/AIDS Partnership
Mayor David Miller is hosting the Chairman of Botswana's South East District,
M.K. Fologang, at a reception at City Hall today. The event will recognize the
City's partnership with Botswana and launch a book for young adults on the
HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa.

"I am very proud of this partnership," said Mayor Miller. "I am pleased that
Toronto can offer skills and assistance to Botswana, and we are honoured to
learn from the important work being done in South East District."

Botswana has among the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the world; 39 out
of 100 adults will test positive for the illness. Life expectancy in Botswana
has dropped from 72 years to 45 years and there are an estimated 78,000 orphans
among a population of 1.7 million.

"I join with Mayor Miller in taking pride in this endeavour," said Chairman
Fologang. "We face huge challenges in dealing with HIV/AIDS in Botswana. The
goal of this partnership is to increase our capacity to respond to the crisis
and to mobilize community involvement. We also hope to apply this partnership
model in other municipalities."

Delegates from South East District of Botswana and Toronto meet annually to
exchange skills and share experiences in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The
partnership is funded by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and focuses
on palliative care and support, youth engagement and employee support. Other
themes include stigma and discrimination, gender issues, orphan care and
project management skills development.

Toronto author Allan Stratton has written Chanda's Secrets, a book about the
challenges faced by one girl after her infant sister dies and her mother
becomes ill with AIDS. He was inspired to write the book after visiting South
Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana where he was introduced to those living with and
working in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Chanda's Secrets is published by Annick
Press of Toronto.

Today's reception is open to the public.

Date: Wednesday, March 24
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Location: Rotunda, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. W.

Media contact:
Mary Margaret Crapper
Toronto Public Health



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