6 January 2012

Namibia: Cash Injection for TB Programme

Photo: David Gough/IRIN
A TB face mask: Namibia is one of the worst TB-affected countries in the world.

Windhoek — The Penduka TB Programme Manager, Rudolph Tjaveondja, says the organisation's TB programme is running smoothly and has secured funds to continue with its operations.

Speaking to New Era, he said the organisation signed a funding agreement with Global Fund on December 15 last year, which grant would run for two years.

Currently, Tjaveondja and a team working on the TB programme are planning how they will use the funds, as the grant money would be disbursed by mid-January.

"The programme is continuing," said Tjaveondja, who shared on how the programme is coping, following reports late last year that patients under the programme's care would be left in the "cold" if no funding was secured.

He confirmed that they were in the dark on whether the agreement with Global Fund would be signed, but he pointed out swiftly that the programme is currently surviving on a 'funding gap', courtesy of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its KNCV (Royal Netherlands Tuberculosis) TB Care programme, until the money from the Global Fund is disbursed.

"Patients will not be left without medication. They will continue getting medicine at clinics," he stressed. He further emphasised that even if the programme had closed its doors due to lack of funding patients would not be left in the dark, as they could still go to clinics and hospitals for their TB treatment.

He added that the programme was operational during the festive season holidays.

Some DOT (Direct Observation Therapy) centres that benefited from the programme during that period are Donkerhoek, Havanna and Ombili, amongst others.

"The programme is up and running, we sorted out the problem," he added.

There are 19 DOT points in the Khomas Region and by the beginning of December last year, close to 600 patients benefited from the TB programme.

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