HIV infection reduces in Namibia: Johnson

18 Oct 2018 13:50pm
ONAKAMWANDI, 18 OCT (NAMPA) – Ambassador of the United States to Namibia, Lisa Johnson on Wednesday described reduction in HIV infection cases in Namibia as wonderful progress.
Johnson was speaking whilst officiating the inauguration of a community based anti-retroviral treatment (CBART) facility at Onakamwandi village in the Oshana Region’s Uukwiyuushona Constituency.
The facility is one of five CBART outreach sites established in the Oshana Region with funds from the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Afoti, Onaushe, Ondingandinga and Epyalyiipundu are the other four communities provided with PEPFAR-funded CBART facilities in Oshana.
These sites make provision of HIV and other healthcare services to the communities easier.
“These healthcare services go beyond HIV care and treatment, and include other important services such as follow-up care for mothers who have recently given birth,” said Johnson.
She added that the sites are also meant to provide immunisations for children, screening for illness and supply of medicine for long-term conditions.
The US diplomat pointed out that when PEPFAR first came to Namibia 15 years ago, more than 10 000 people were each year getting infected with HIV, but such HIV-infection figure has now been cut by more than half.
Johnson pledged that the US government, through PEPFAR, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States’ Agency for International Development (USAID), will continue to provide support to Ministry of Health and Social Services' needs to build HIV care and treatment facilities.
Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Bernard Haufiku, whilst speaking at the same event, commended the US taxpayers for funding healthcare and treatment services in Namibia and the local traditional authority for availing free-of-charge land where the facility is constructed.
“We want to end HIV/Aids in Namibia. That's why we go out full force to get everybody tested,” Haufiku told the audience, urging all people to be tested for HIV and those who test positive to commence with treatment.
The minister noted that Namibia is today one of the few African countries that are about to reach HIV epidemic control.
“We fell short of the 99 per cent in HIV testing and treatment, and the problem is young men under the age of 40, who do not go for HIV tests like their women counterparts,” Haufiku revealed.