By Hileni Nembwaya
NAMIBIA has been praised among other African countries to have made significant strides in reducing HIV new infections and deaths, especially among children.
The rates have declined from 12 000 to less than 1 000 in 2016 and the annual AIDS deaths have also reduced from 11 000 in 2010 to 8 700 in 2014.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Kiki Gbeho made these remarks during the commemoration of the national health and wellness awareness week and education sector health day held at Okahao, this week.
“There is also an urgent need to raise awareness; to inform pupils and educators about the potential negative impact of HIV, on the growth of the education sector. UNAIDS announced in June 2016 during the UN General Assembly on HIV/ AIDS that the number of people living with HIV, and accessing lifesaving anti-retro-viral treatment (ART), has increased from 700 00 in the year 2000 to 17 million globally,” said Gbeho.
Gbeho said that the new infections and deaths have also been reduced, with evidence showing a drop in the rate of infections from 19 000 to 9 600 in 2014.
She further said that there is a new political declaration on HIV/AIDS that was endorsed by the member states on June 10 in New York that approves three goals and 20 clear targets for ending AIDS as health threat by 2030.
Young people, particularly young girls are said be at the centre of HIV/AIDS response during the next 15 years.
She furthermore said that in Namibia, the highest rates of poverty are mostly observed among the youth and women, particularly those living in rural areas.
“Thirty-four percent of children in Namibia live in poverty compared to 29 percent of the general population. Stunting affects 24 percent of children under five in Namibia. Young people are faced with some of the highest unemployment rates in the country and issues such as teenage pregnancy and bullying are a common occurrence,” said Gbeho.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015