Make TB and HIV/AIDS a permanent agenda item: Thataone

15 Oct 2013 14:10pm
LEONARDVILLE, 15 OCT (NAMPA) – The Director of Health in the Omaheke Region, Christencia Thataone has called on political leaders to actively get involved in health to prevent diseases such as Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV.
“Political will was often seen lacking in the fight against these preventable diseases,” said Thataone in a speech read on her behalf by Norbert Iyambo, the Regional Nurse Manager for the Omaheke Region during an event to celebrate the success attained by a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) - Advanced Community Health Services Namibia (CoHeNa).
The Omaheke Regional Health Director said politicians have a pivotal role to play in the fight against TB and AIDS by not only enacting laws to aid mitigation efforts, but also showing personal commitment to prevent new infections of these diseases.
“As people holding prominent positions in society, politicians have the power to positively influence the mindset of the communities in favour of the fight against TB and HIV/AIDS. We need them to make personal commitment beyond their call of duty to fight these epidemics,” she said.
Thataone extended the call for leaders’ involvement in health matters to traditional and spiritual leaders, who all hold positions of influence amongst their respective communities.
“Traditional and spiritual leaders need to make TB and HIV mitigation efforts a permanent agenda point. It needs to be discussed at every meeting they are holding.
That way, the ministry and others who are involved in the fight against these diseases will have a lot to go on when tackling the matter,” said Thataone.
While lauding CoHeNa volunteers and members for their hard work in the prevention of TB and HIV/AIDS, Thataone called on the regional leadership and business community to materially support the important work carried out by CoHeNa.
CoHeNa empowers communities to manage TB and HIV/AIDS themselves through training and material support.
The organisation has scored major successes in the Omaheke Region, especially in the mitigation of TB by drastically reducing new infections and ensuring that those on TB treatment complete their treatment course.