Sheila Tlou

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Sheila Dinotshe Tlou is a Botswana specialist in HIV/AIDS and women's health, and a nursing educator. She was Minister of Health from 2004 to 2008.[1]

Education and career[edit]

Tlou graduated from Dillard University in 1974. In 2014 she was awarded an Honorary degree by her alma mater.[2] Tlou studied at Teachers College, Columbia University, U.S., obtaining an M.A. in Education (concentrating in Curriculum and Instruction in the Health Sciences).[3] She took her PhD in community health nursing and a diploma in gender issues, at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1990.[4] She has taught at the University of Botswana from 1980. From 1994 to 1996 she was head of Nursing Education, becoming an associate professor in 1999, and 2002–04 she was the university's HIV/AIDS coordinator.[5]

Tlou represented Botswana at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. In 2002 she was appointed to a special UN task force on girls, women, and HIV/AIDS in southern Africa. she has also provided consultancy to UNAIDS, the UN Commission on the Status of Women and the World Health Organisation. She took part in the international community educator meetings for the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.[6]

Tlou is married to Botswana historian Professor Thomas Tlou.

She has portrayed Precious Ramotswe, the heroine of Alexander McCall Smith's #1 Ladies' Detective Agency book series, in amateur theater productions, and at one time was mentioned in media reports as a possible choice to portray Mma Ramotswe in the Hollywood film adaptation currently in production.[7]

Following the October 2004 general election, Tlou was appointed as Minister of Health on November 9, 2004.[8] After being defeated in primary elections of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in Palapye, Tlou was dismissed from the Cabinet on April 1, 2008, when Ian Khama took office as President.[9]

HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment[edit]

Much of Tlou's work focuses on gender issues and HIV/AIDS in southern Africa. Enabling women, particularly married women, in a patriarchal society to negotiate with their partner for safe sex has major consequences for HIV transmission. Tlou has worked with grassroots women's organisations and national campaigns to increase AIDS awareness in Botswana. She has also done a great deal of work in reducing the stigma of AIDS and helping HIV positive people cope with their lives.[10]



Tlou is a co-editor of the comprehensive reference book for people working in the field of HIV/AIDS in Africa:

  • Tlou, Sheila; Essex, Myron; Mboup, Souleymane; Kanki, Phyllis J.; Marlink, Richard G. (2002). AIDS in Africa. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. ISBN 9780306466991. 

Selected other works:


  1. ^ "Nurse leader heads health ministry in Botswana". International Nursing Review. 52 (1): 10–11. 2005-03. doi:10.1111/j.1466-7657.2004.00412_5.x. ISSN 0020-8132.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ "Dillard University Bestowed Honorary Degrees to Dr. Henry Lacey & Dr. Sheila Tlou". DU ALUMNI NEWS. 2014-05-30. Retrieved 2018-07-10. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-17. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  4. ^ "African KILP Fellows: Dr Sheila Tlou". W. K. Kellogg foundation. August 2003. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2006-08-09. 
  5. ^ a b "Professor Sheila Dinotshe Tlou". Contemporary Africa Database. The Africa Centre, London. Archived from the original on 2006-08-14. Retrieved 2006-08-08. 
  6. ^ Nurses at the Forefront of HIV/AIDS: Prevention, Care and Treatment Archived 2012-02-06 at the Wayback Machine. Profile of Tlou, Canadian Nurses Association conference. Toronto, Canada, August 1996. Retrieved 2006-08-10.
  7. ^ "Tlou mum over Mma Ramotswe role" Archived 2015-09-05 at the Wayback Machine., South African Cape Film Society newsletter, quoting a Sunday Times article.
  8. ^ "Mogae appoints cabinet - Ten new faces - Five women" Archived 2005-02-10 at the Wayback Machine., BOPA, November 10, 2004.
  9. ^ Gideon Nkala, "Khama fires five ministers" Archived 2017-10-01 at the Wayback Machine., Mmegi Online, 2 April 2008.
  10. ^ Haynes, Rebecca. "Sheila Tlou: A giant in Africa's AIDS response". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2018-07-10. 
  11. ^ "Inschrijven voor Anna Reynvaan Prijzen" Bijzijn (in Dutch), 27-03-2002. Retrieved on 2006-09-10.
  12. ^ "Batswana celebrate 36th anniversary". Daily News Online. Government of Botswana. 2002-10-04. Archived from the original on 10 February 2005. Retrieved 2006-08-10. 

External links[edit]