21 Jul 2015 09:50am
OKOMBAHE, 21 JUL (NAMPA) - Regional Aids Co-ordinating Committees (RACOC) representatives responsible for HIV/AIDS prevention programmes in Omusati and //Karas regions have lauded the Erongo Region for its success in HIV/AIDS mitigation.
The Senior Community Liaison officers, Friedberga Ndinoshiho from Omusati region and Dawood Thomas representing //Karas region told Nampa during an interview here last week that they regard Erongo as a success story in their field of work.
Together with officials from their regions, the two travelled to Okombahe in the Daures Constituency to meet fellow Erongo leaders of the HIV/AIDS programmes in a bid to learn and share ideas on how to best fight the pandemic.
Thomas and Ndinoshiho praised the support of political leaders in Erongo to the region's RACOC, Constituency AIDS Co-ordinating Committees (CACOC) and Districts' Aids Committees (DAC) programmes.
They said Erongo politicians are actively involved in spreading the message of HIV reduction and soliciting funds to carry out information sharing campaigns.
In //Karas, we lack political support when it comes to these programmes. Most of the information that is supposed to be communicated to central Government from the region does not reach them. said Thomas.
Ndinoshiho said Omusati does not even have CACOC and DAC.
We are here to learn how Erongo coordinates their programmes so that we can do the same. I learn that here, information is coordinated from the grassroots and politicians are involved. she said.
Another notable difference, she said, is that for the 2015/16 financial year, Erongo RACOC received N.dollars 400 000 from the regional council for their programmes, while Omusati only received N.dollars 262 000 from their council because of limited activities in her region.
The focal person for Daures CACOC, Marvin Afrikaner, re-emphasised that support from political and traditional leaders in the region serves as a motivation that leads to success.
Without their support we will not be able to do much. We also have support from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and forestry, who are helping us to establish vegetable gardens to feed our people living with HIV/AIDS. said Afrikaner.
He also noted that at the district level, they also have support groups and hold quarterly meetings to review activities.
Results of the 2014 National HIV Sentinel Survey indicate that Erongo has a HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of 16.2 per cent, while //Karas and Omusati has 17 per cent and 17.7 per cent prevalence respectively.
The one-day meeting of information sharing was attended by 33 officials from the three regions.