28 Nov 2016 15:40pm
SWAKOPMUND, 28 NOV (NAMPA) South African singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka has applauded Namibia for its successful efforts to reduce HIV/Aids prevalence.
The singer, whose real name is Yvonne Machaka, is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
Speaking at the first-ever HIV/Aids conference organised by the Ministry of Health and Social Services in Swakopmund on Monday, she acknowledged the current political leadership, President Hage Geingob and First Lady Monica Geingos, former political leaders and the public at large for their contribution.
The 2014 National HIV Sentinel Survey indicates that overall HIV prevalence in Namibia declined from 18.2 per cent in 2012 to 16.9 per cent in 2014.
This is due to interventions such as anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment, prevention and control of sexually transmitted infections, condom promotion, HIV counselling and testing, Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC), and Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT).
Let us work together and save the lives of our people. The road is long but there is hope to end HIV, the singer said.
She said it is commendable that Namibia is able to provide treatment, support and information on HIV/Aids to all citizens.
This does not happen in many African countries and I have seen many children dying without even reaching the age of five, she told a fully packed hall.
The goodwill ambassador urged that efforts to reduce HIV infections and death in Namibia should continue.
With regards to stigma and discrimination, the singer said these should be avoided at all costs as they hamper progress.
She added that government needs to dig deep into their pockets to finance HIV prevention programmes and buy medicines.
I love conferences, but I believe if we do not go out in the community and carry out practical work, conferences will be useless.
The three-day conference which started on Monday is being attended by 600 people, including doctors, politicians and representatives of health organisations.
It provides an opportunity to build on past achievements by sharing information on new interventions, with the aim to ensure that there are better strategies to eradicate HIV/Aids by 2030.