World AIDS Day commemorated at Kaoko-Otavi

02 Dec 2017 19:20pm
OPUWO, 02 DEC (NAMPA) - More than 100 people attended World AIDS Day commemorations at the Kaoko-Otavi village in the Opuwo Rural Constituency in the Kunene Region on Friday.
The day served as an opportunity for residents to unite and fight against HIV/Aids, and commemorate those who have died from Aids-related illnesses.
Speaking at the occasion, Opuwo Rural Constituency Councillor Kazeongere Tjeundo said the campaign reminds people that the right to health is much more than access to quality health services and medicine; that it also depends on, among others, adequate sanitation and housing, healthy working conditions, a clean environment, and access to justice.
“If a person’s right to health is compromised, they are often unable to effectively prevent diseases and ill health, including HIV, or gain access to treatment and care,” stated Tjeundo.
He added that most marginalised people are often the least able to access their right to health services, and are thus also the most vulnerable to HIV, while rural communities lack information due to the unavailability of information and communication technology infrastructure.
The 2017 World AIDS Day campaign was commemorated under the global theme ‘Right to Health’, while in Namibia the day was commemorated under the sub-theme ‘Strengthening HIV and TB Prevention and Treatment across the Border’.
Speaking at the same event, Senior Health Programme Officer for Special Programmes, Romana Shaningua said the day reminds the public as well as the government that HIV/Aids has not gone away and there is still a lot to do.
Shaningua noted that Kunene regional statistics for the period 2016 and 2017 indicate that 9 025 residents have been tested for HIV, and 6 448 of those are females.
She said 1 924 men and 3 147 women started to take antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, which increases the total of active ARV patients in the region to 2 974 patients.
The Kaoko-Otavi village is situated 50 kilometres west of regional capital, Opuwo.