Namibia shining example: Global Fund

11 Apr 2014 10:20am
WINDHOEK, 11 APR (NAMPA) – The fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and malaria in Namibia is impressive, says the Head of the Grant Management Division at the Global Fund, Mark Edington.
He was speaking during the closing ceremony of the four-day conference attended by representatives from the eastern and southern African regions to discuss the new funding model of the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria on Wednesday.
Under the new financial model, Namibia received US dollars 111.3 million (about N.dollars 1.1 billion) in total for the fight against the diseases.
HIV received US dollars 87.7 million (about N.dollars 878 million), TB received US dollars 18.1 million (about N.dollars 181 million) and malaria US dollars 5.5 million (about N.dollars N.dollars 55 million).
“Namibia has a great model in her fight against HIV, TB and malaria, and is doing a good job in targeting those in need. We are impressed with the progress made so far,” he noted.
Edington furthermore commended the governments in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Rwanda for putting domestic resources to work in reducing the rates of new HIV infections.
The eastern and southern regions have made huge progress in fighting HIV/AIDS, providing anti-retroviral drugs (ARV) and in the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission. The HIV rate is declining in these regions, he added.
In July 2013, the Global Fund and the Namibian government signed a grant of N.dollars 1 billion.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services and the Network of AIDS Service Organizations (NANASO), whose main focus is prevention and care, implemented programmes to focus on high-impact interventions, including treatment, care and support; as well as the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission.
The programmes also support cross-cutting activities such as strategic and targeted behavioural change communication, HIV counselling and testing, and condom promotion and distribution.
Recent statistics issued by the Global Fund indicate that whereas the 13.4 per cent HIV prevalence in the general population in the country is one of the highest on the continent, Namibia has made important progress by showing a declining trend in new infections: from an estimated 10 000 in 2008 to 8 000 in 2011.
Namibia has also succeeded in reducing the mother-to-child transmission of HIV, with 5 per cent of infants born with HIV in 2012. Regarding malaria, Namibia has shown remarkable progress, with mortality declining from 1 700 deaths in 2001 to 36 deaths in 2011. Malaria out-patient cases have likewise fallen from 521 067 cases in 2001 to 14 406 cases in 2011.
The country is progressing from malaria control to malaria pre-elimination faster than anticipated, the Global Fund said.
It stated that Namibia is already ahead of targets established in the National Strategic Framework 2010 – 2016.
“The Global Fund is committed to protecting and promoting human rights. To defeat HIV, TB and malaria, we must focus on key populations and those that are most vulnerable,” Edington added.