24 Oct 2013 16:40pm
WINDHOEK, 24 OCT (NAMPA) - The Ministry of Health and Social Services received seven vans to be used in the public health sector from the United States (US) Embassy here on Thursday.
The vans will be utilised to render primary healthcare outreach services, and will mainly be used by health officers who will be engaging in HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) in several communities across the country.
They were handed over to the Health Ministry by Charge dAffaires at the US Embassy, Mary Grace McGeehan at a function held at the ministrys head office.
Receiving the vans, Deputy Minister of Health Petrina Haingura expressed her happiness at the fact that the mobile HCT services will add to the ministrys new initiatives aimed at ensuring that it reaches out to communities which cannot easily access health services.
This initiative has been made possible through support from our development partners, the United States, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Agency for International Development.
We have a firm conviction that this approach will help us reach out to people who have never been tested before, the most at-risk populations and hard-to- reach populations, resulting in identifying new HIV infections, which will help curtail our incidence rates, said Haingura.
Meanwhile, McGeehan reiterated her governments commitment to continue providing technical support to the Health Ministry to further strengthen its national counselling and testing programme, to roll-out rapid HIV testing services, and now to build upon facility-based services through mobile outreach testing services.
The seven vans will be used to bring HIV testing and essential primary healthcare services to remote populations in seven regions - Khomas, Hardap, Omaheke, Oshikoto, Kavango, Erongo and Omusati, which do not have easy access to static health facilities.