2 February 2018

Namibia: More Than 24,000 On ARVs in Khomas

Photo: Georgina Cranston/IRIN
ARVs (file photo).

Windhoek — More than 24,000 people in the Khomas region are on the lifesaving Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ARV) HIV drug, Khomas Regional Council (KRC) chairperson, Rachel Jacob, has revealed.

Speaking at the opening of the KRC office for this year, Jacob said at least 11,155 people were tested for HIV last November alone whereby 57 percent of those who tested positive were linked to HIV treatment.

Jacob says regarding the improvement of livelihood of people living with HIV, the regional council managed to reach out to 740 needy people on HIV treatment and in extreme need of food - rescuing them from starvation that often causes HIV treatment failure.

The 2014 national HIV sentinel survey indicates that overall HIV prevalence in the country declined from 18.2 percent to 16.9 percent.

About 215,000 people are living with HIV in Namibia and 131,103 currently receive antiretroviral therapy. The survey further indicated the virus prevalence is highest among women aged 40 to 44 years at 30.6 percent, and women aged 35 to 39 years at 30.3 percent.

In terms of tuberculosis (TB), Jacob said 323 cases of TB were recorded in the region in the fourth quarter, October - December last year, with a high concentration of TB cases recorded at Hakahana and Okuryangava clinics.

She said at least 91 percent of the reported cases were successfully treated.

Furthermore, Jacob said a multi-sectoral Khomas Regional School Health Committee was established to discuss issues concerning healthcare in schools in the region.

She said the committee carries out health talks, inspection of schools' environment and provides life skills to teachers and cleaners.

"Community adherence clubs which are aimed at helping relieve the overcrowding at the clinics as well as saving patients on money and time are currently active in Moses Garoeb, Samora Machel, Katutura Central and Windhoek Rural constituencies," she said.

Additionally, Jacob said the Regional Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) Programme has achieved an overall reduction of up to 90 percent.

Jacob says male circumcision services are also available in the region and 9,916 men have so far been circumcised at public hospitals.

She said another 9,707 males were circumcised at private health facilities by Aids Free, an NGO leading the Public Private Partnership (PPP) in male circumcision.

Jacob said this represents a total number of 19,659 men circumcised in Khomas region.

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