27 Nov 2018 17:10pm
WINDHOEK, 27 NOV (NAMPA) The Zambezi Region has made great strides in the roll-out of the Determined, Resilient, Empowered, Aids-free, Mentored, and Safe (DREAMS) programme since its introduction in the region in July this year.
DREAMS is an ambitious partnership between the governments of Namibia and the United States of America (USA) to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women.
The programme is funded through the United States Presidents Emergency Plan for Aids Relief.
A media statement issued by the USA Embassy here on Tuesday stated that since July, 1 300 adolescent girls have been enrolled into DREAMs programme in the Zambezi Region.
This include 850 girls aged between 9 and 14, 330 aged between 15 and 19, and 125 aged between 20 and 24-years-old.
Zambezi became the third region in which the programme is operational after Khomas and Oshikoto.
USA Ambassador Lisa Johnson and Zambezi Governor Lawrence Sampofu recently visited various sites of the programme to gauge its impact in the community.
According to the Namibia Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment released in July 2018, the Zambezi Region has the highest prevalence of HIV among adults aged between 15 and 64 years.
It stated that despite this, the region is doing very well in maintaining the viral load suppression of people on treatment.
This is an important achievement for the region because once the viral load is suppressed, the virus cannot be transmitted and the individual has every chance of living a long and healthy life, remarked Johnson, lauding the commitment of healthcare providers, partners, supporting ministries and communities.
All these tied together with strong leadership is what is helping the Zambezi Region change the course of the HIV epidemic in this region, said Johnson.
The DREAMS programme in the Zambezi Region is implemented by I-TECH Namibia in collaboration with multi-sectoral government involvement.