20 Jul 2019 11:00am
WINDHOEK, 19 JUL (NAMPA) City of Windhoek (CoW) Mayor, Muesee Kazapua on Friday launched the Male Engagement Policy Paper here, which aims to improve male engagement in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Sexual and Reproductive Health services, amongst others.
He said the policy paper is a golden opportunity for men to openly discuss issues that negatively affect them including alcohol and drug abuse, gender-based violence, same sex relationships, male circumcision, dishonesty, corruption and refusal to seek health services.
Kazapua made these remarks while addressing Windhoek community members at the launch of the policy paper under the theme Men as Pillars towards a Healthy Nation at the Moses Garoeb Constituency office hall.
He encouraged men to lead by example since by nature they are heads of family, adding that men should refrain from behaviour such as avoiding HIV voluntary testing and caring for their families and vulnerable people.
Also speaking at the event, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Fast Track Advisor, Patricia Ongpin said her organisation is determined to continue assisting Namibians in fighting against gender discrimination.
She added that Namibia has made tremendous progress in health service provision, but can do even better if men fully support such interventions.
Although women remain disproportionately affected than men, women have made much progress in receiving an HIV test and receiving treatment, she noted.
She said UNAIDS targets 99 per cent for the world population infected by HIV to know their status, adding that in Namibia women have reached that target while for men it is still a mountain to climb.
There is still room for improvement, she concluded.
Meanwhile, in a speech read on his behalf, Constituency Councillor Martin David welcomed the initiatives, saying men should utilise the opportunities presented by studying the policy paper and actively participating in the programme.
Participants were to voluntarily get tested for HIV at the end of the launch.
The programme was initiated in July 2017 by CoW in partnership with UNAIDS and the Ministry of Health and Social Services.