88 per cent of Nam babies born HIV-free

08 Apr 2014 11:00


More than 100 000 Namibians are receiving anti-retroviral (ARV)
treatment, which represents an estimated coverage of 85 per cent.

The country also stands at 88 per cent of the Prevention of
Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/AIDS measure, meaning 88
per cent of babies are born HIV-negative.

Health and Social Services' Minister Richard Kamwi announced this on
Monday during the start of the week-long Southern and Eastern Africa
regional meeting with the Global Fund team underway in the capital.

The Ministry of Health and Social Services and the Global Fund to
Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria last year signed a N$1.2b grant
agreement to combat these three diseases.

Kamwi said Namibia's fight against the three diseases with the support
of the Global Fund is a great example of the power of partnerships.

"Namibia has in recent years made strategic decisions to invest in
high-impact interventions and implemented programs through both
government and civil society channels, which resulted in the reduction
of the mother-to-child transmission of the HIV virus, a decrease in
HIV/AIDS infections and a decline of the malaria mortality rate.

There has also been an 88 per cent coverage of PMTCT, and we are
working towards eliminating mother-to-child transmission of the HIV
virus. This is a major achievement," Kamwi stressed.

He said Namibia has seen a rapid decrease in new HIV infections from
an estimated 23,000 infections in 2000/2001 to 8,000 in 2011/2012.

"We have registered remarkable progress towards the impacts in the
malaria program implementation. Malaria mortality has declined from
1,700 deaths in 2001 to 36 deaths in 2011," he indicated further.

Namibia is also progressing from malaria control to malaria
pre-elimination, and this progress is happening quicker than
anticipated.

"Our country is already beyond the targets for its National Strategic
Framework 2010 - 2016," he boasted.

"I have cited these statistics to encourage all of us that through
strategic decisions and wise investments, we can control these three
diseases.

Much of what we can achieve in the region and across Africa will
depend upon the people in this room, and the hundreds of thousands of
partners in the countries you have come from.
Indeed, working together, we can control the three diseases," he emphasised.

The meeting is aimed at ensuring that countries share experiences and
lessons learnt in the implementation of Global Fund resources.

Namibia and the region at large will furthermore discuss and
deliberate on Global Fund-funded activities, showcase achievements,
deliberate on the challenges and identify solutions to address those
constraints.
(NAMPA)