29 Aug 2019 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 29 AUG (NAMPA) The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) on Thursday launched the second edition of National Guidelines on Adolescents Living with HIV (ALHIV) aimed at providing provision of quality healthcare for ALHIV in Namibia.
The guidelines present the minimum basic essential package of treatment, care, support, actions and standards to guide multi-sectoral responses that address the holistic needs of ALHIV.
Speaking during the launch here on Thursday, National Paediatric and Adolescents Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Coordinator, Sylvia Ashikoto said there are more than 11 000 adolescents who have tested positive for HIV at public health institutions, 9 000 of whom are on treatment.
According to the launched guideline document, as per the 2018 HIV estimates report, Namibia has improved with the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV, moving from 88 per cent in 2010 to 99 per cent in 2017.
Furthermore, during the same period, transmission rates have reduced from 14 per cent in 2010 to six per cent in 2017.
Ashikoto said the MoHSS adopted treatment adherence clubs for adolescents living with HIV known as the Teen Clubs as one of the service delivery models of care for ALHIV, which provides a safe, welcoming and nurturing environment with the goal of improving ART adherence, viral suppression and building strong peer support systems.
She revealed that there are 100 Teen Clubs countrywide with a total of 2 964 members, adding that about 5 000 ALHIV members and non-members have received psychological support, treatment adherence and literacy support.
Namibia first released guidelines on the treatment, care and support of ALHIV in 2012 to reflect the progress made since that time and to address the emerging challenges faced by ALHIV.
The guideline document will be used by healthcare providers, social workers, teachers, youth and adolescents, peer leaders, adolescent expert clients and programme implementers, to provide treatment, care and support to ALHIV.