11 Jul 2013 02:30
By Joseph Nekaya
WINDHOEK, 11 JUL (NAMPA) - Africa continues to face numerous challenges in the public health sector, with mainly HIV/AIDS taking the lives of millions of people who would otherwise have been productive citizens contributing to the socio-economic development of their countries.
First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba, who is also the outgoing president of the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA), said this during the handing-over of 3 000 ?health boxes? donated to the organisation by Trachurus Fishing Company on Wednesday.
The 3 000 ?health boxes? are valued at over N.dollars 2 million.
Each box contains, amongst other things, mosquito nets, mosquito and bed-bug repellants, anti-bacterial and anti-mould substances, porridge, high-energy drinks and water-purifying drops.
The First Lady said the donation is the type of initiative which is needed by the people of the African continent, saying it is an ?African solution to African problems?.
?It gives me great pleasure to receive this generous donation by one of our leading joint venture fishing companies, Trachurus Fishing, who has seen it fit to contribute substantially towards our endeavours to alleviate the effects of HIV/AIDS in not only Namibian communities, but throughout the member countries of OAFLA,? she stated, adding that the political will to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS exists in Namibia, as demonstrated through interventions by both Government and civil society.
Increasing pressure is being put on national governments to not only provide essential anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment to ensure the longevity of people living with HIV/AIDS, but also to prevent new infections, as well as caring for those orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
Pohamba said the other public health concern in Africa is malaria, which causes immune deficiency.
?Deaths from malaria can be prevented, although it requires concerted effort and intervention,? the First Lady said.
She told the gathering that Namibia ?will soon eradicate malaria fully?.
?Despite this, a more holistic approach in the expansion of products to combat malaria in affected areas is required, and we are confident that with the products which are included in the health box, this can be further addressed until we make Namibia a truly malaria-free country,? she noted.
Pohamba, who is also patron of the Organisation for the Empowerment of Widows/Widowers and Orphans of HIV/AIDS in Namibia (OEWONA) and patron of the National Maternal and Child Health Agenda, assured the donors and partners that the donations will reach their planned destinations. Namibia?s share of the donation as a member country of OAFLA will go to OEWONA.