10 Jun 2014 15:40pm
WINDHOEK, 10 JUN (NAMPA) Health and Social Services Minister Dr Richard Kamwi has pledged the government's unwavering commitment to improving health services for all in the country.
He said this in a speech read on his behalf by the Acting Director of Social Welfare Services in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Mercy Kahimbi-Kufuna, during the opening of a three-day meeting titled 'Integrating gender-based violence (GBV) and HIV prevention, treatment and care into national alcohol policies' in the capital on Tuesday.
Today, we are tackling GBV, alcohol and HIV. These three elements pose a danger already by themselves.
However, in combination, they unfold an incredible power against public health, which we must get under control, he stated.
Kamwi said alcohol misuse has increasingly been recognised as a driving force in the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Southern and Eastern Africa, and Namibia is thus no exception.
Alcohol has been rated as one of the key contributing factors which lead to increasing violence against women and children.
His ministry has thus been implementing a comprehensive alcohol programme, which has looked at national policy formulation, prevention and treatment of these three elements.
The country's HIV and AIDS efforts have reached another milestone with the development of the National Strategic Plan on HIV/AIDS. However, we are lacking behind with the provision of emergency service to victims of GBV.
Although our ministry provides for post-exposure prophylaxis and emergency contraception for sexual violence victims, the provision of other medical services needs to be strengthened, he added.
Over 30 health professionals and gender activists from different African countries like Tanzania, Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho and Zambia are attending the meeting, which ends on Thursday.