Namibian municipalities gather to tackle HIV/AIDS

11 Sep 2013 04:30
SWAKOPMUND, 11 SEP (NAMPA) – About 100 representatives of local authorities from all regions across Namibia gathered here on Tuesday for the 2013 annual partners’ orientation conference for HIV/AIDS and gender mainstreaming.
The conference, which ends on Friday, is being hosted under the theme “Local Government Leading the Way to Zero”.
It will focus on male involvement in the HIV/AIDS response, gender mainstreaming, the establishment of mayoral funds, the effective management of Regional AIDS’ Coordinating Committees (RACOC) and Constituency AIDS Coordinating Committees (CACOC), as well as stakeholder inputs.
Erongo Regional Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua said in a statement read on his behalf by Control Administrative Officer in the governor’s office, Edward Gaingob that it is important for coordination structures such as RACOC and CACOC to take their duties and responsibilities seriously in order to ensure that local HIV/AIDS programmes run smoothly.
“Our main challenge, both at regional and local level, is the lack of a clear coordination framework, as well as the non-existence of a robust monitoring and evaluation framework.
All stakeholders should thus work together so that the systems and structures we have put in place work effectively and efficiently,” Mutjavikua noted.
He suggested that all regional and local authorities should come up with a coordination mechanism to ensure that HIV/AIDS strategy implementers apply the National Strategic Framework (NSF) correctly, and that the set national targets are achieved.
The NSF defines and outlines the actions to be taken, as well as the ways in which Namibia will respond to HIV/AIDS over the next six years.
The governor added that a monitoring and evaluation system is very important as without it, many issues are bound to ‘fall through the cracks’ because they are not being monitored or implemented.
“We are also running the risk of not being able to evaluate our programmes at the end of the day due to the lack of a system which tells us whether we are on track or not,” he noted.