20 June 2019

Namibia: 26 000 People On HIV Treatment

Khomas governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua says the number of people on treatment for HIV in Khomas region has increased, with 26 000 people, including children, accessing antiretroviral therapy.

She said this when presenting her state of the region address in Windhoek yesterday, where she recounted the successes and challenges the region faced during the 2018/19 financial year.

"All people who test HIV positive are initiated on treatment on the day of diagnosis. All pregnant women who attend antenatal care are offered HIV testing to reduce mother-to-child transmission. The acceptance is 99%," said McLeod-Katjirua.

The governor said this is due to most ARV services being decentralised, and with most health facilities offering HIV case management.

She said teen clubs have also been established to ensure good HIV treatment outcomes among adolescents.

McLeod-Katjirua added that with regards to diabetes cases, there has been a reduction in diagnosis rates.

"The region is facing challenges in terms of health workers' shortages, and when it comes to TB treatment success rates," she said, adding that people should go and get tested if they have been coughing for more than two weeks.

The governor also encouraged TB patients to complete their treatment to avoid becoming drug-resistant, or passing it on to others.

As far as health infrastructure is concerned, McLeod-Katjirua said N$4 million has been budgeted for this financial year to expand the Katutura Intermediate Hospital's pharmacy, and for the maintenance of the hospital's theatre.

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