17 April 2013

Namibia: Cops, NDF Mark HIV/Aids Day

Oshakati — Namibian Police officers and members of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) joined the masses in commemorating World AIDS Day last week on Friday.

The event that took place at the Ongwediva Trade Fair grounds was organised by the HIV/AIDS Wellness Division of the Namibian Police. The day was commemorated with plays, poems and songs under the theme, "Problem shared is problem halved".

Candles were lit in memory of HIV/AIDS victims who succumbed to the disease.

The event, which aimed at educating and sensitising the police and the NDF on HIV/AIDS, was attended by a number of local councillors as well as Oshana Regional Governor Clemens Kashuupulwa, who was the keynote speaker.

Kashuupulwa called upon government ministries to emulate the Ministry of Safety and Security's example of carrying out wellness activities for employees "in order to prevent HIV re-infections and minimise the risks of new infections".

"I am well informed that the HIV/AIDS division of the Namibian Police Force of Oshana Region has conducted HIV related awareness activities among the police force, including visiting members under the home based care function of the force," said Kashuupulwa.

Kashuupulwa urged the police to keep up the good work, maintaining that mobilisation and sensitisation among members of the police force, particularly women, would help in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

"I am referring to women in particular because it is time for them to know that it is wrong for someone to force you into engaging in sexual activities. It is time for our women to start demanding condoms. It is time for our women to know their rights," said Kashuupulwa.

According to the governor, statistics by the Ministry of Health and Social Services indicate that a total of 17 691people were on anti-retroviral treatment between 2012 and 2013.

He said the HIV prevalence rate in Oshana Region stands at 22 percent, which is a slight decrease of three percent in comparison to 25 percent in 2010.

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