Windhoek — The U.S Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday announced funding of N$24.4 million towards the Ministry of Health and Social Services for the period of April to September this year to fight the HIV/Aids epidemic.
This announcement was made during the official launch of the new five-year cooperative agreement between the ministry and the CDC.
The ministry and the CDC have been engaging in cooperative agreement since 2004.
These agreements are developed on a multi-year basis, with funding always committed to a one year circle at a time - funds permitting through the U.S President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) country operational plan for Namibia.
Pepfar Namibia anticipates signing a new agreement with the Office of the U.S Global Aids Coordination later this week and expects to have this confirmed at its next annual funding commitment, at which point additional money will become available to the CDC-ministry partnership.
Speaking at the launch, minister of health Dr Kalumbi Shangula said Pepfar wholly supported the portfolio ministry for the successful implementation and prompt coordination of HIV and Aids programmes since 2004.
Kalumbi is confident this particular funding will assist Namibia to realise epidemic control and substances to fast track 90-90-90 target established by Unaids and 95-95-95 National Strategic Frame Work targets.
Furthermore, Shangula applauded the US Ambassador to Namibia Lisa Johnson and her entire team for the "immeasurable support in the fight against HIV/Aids in the country.
On her part, Johnson said: "Cooperative agreements are special. They represent more than a transfer of money or goods. Cooperative agreements are also about the transfer of skills and technical assistance as they carve open a two-way transfer that benefits both sides."
She added that the partnership between the ministry of health and CDC brings together an impressive and diverse skill set.
"The impact of the relationship is very clearly shown in the numbers. The ministry of health recently announced that Namibia, in terms of meeting the Unaids 95:95:95 targets, is currently at 94:96:95," she said, adding that this is an incredible achievement.
CDC Country Director Dr Eric Dziuban said the new agreement will be expanding to new areas-they will be working more deeply along the border of Namibia, to ensure that non-Namibians receive healthcare services as per ministry policy.
"We will be working closer with other ministries, such as Safety and Security, to ensure that person within correctional facilities receive the same care and treatment services as those living in communities throughout Namibia, protecting them and those around them," he said.
Therefore, he said the new cooperative agreement between the CDC and the MoHSS will be continuing what is working well, upscaling promising programs, and introducing new methods and strategies to help them reach their goal.
"It is an exciting opportunity to bring the Aids pandemic definitively from crisis, toward control," he said.