HEALTH and Social Services Minister Dr Bernard Haufiku has opened ten one-roomed community-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) clinics built at a total cost of N$2.3 million. Five of the clinics were built in some of the remote areas of Omusati region, while the other five were built in Oshana region on land donated by the headmen of the beneficiary villages.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Namibia through the American President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) provided the funds needed to build the structures, which consist of a prefabricated one-room clinic and a pit-latrine.
Dr. Haufiku was accompanied by US Ambassador to Namibia Lisa Johnson to Akutsima, a village some 52 kilometres in the west of Okahao, where the handover of the Akutsima clinic symbolised the handing over of all the other four clinics in Omusati region, before they travelled some 120 kilometres to Onakamwandi village, where the hand-over of the clinics in Oshana took place.
Ambassador Johnson said she was impressed by Akutsima’s sense of “unity of the community” and was “pleased to be sharing in your community spirit of helping and encouraging each other to be tested and to stay on treatment.”
“These sites will make the provision of HIV and other healthcare services to the community easier. These services include not just the delivery of antiretroviral medication, but also screening for minor ailments, immunisations, weight monitoring for children under five years, prescription refill for other chronic conditions, and follow-up care for mothers who have recently given birth. These services are for all people in the community,” she said.
Minister Haufiku said he was grateful to the American taxpayers for the support they provided in ensuring that people who live in the remotest areas of Namibia would be able to access healthcare services. And he promised to get his staff to roll up their sleeves and render health services to the community without compromise.
Ongandjera king Johannes Mupiya told his subjects at Akutsima village to take personal ownership of the clinic and take a stand against thieves and vandals. He also had a message for the American ambassador, saying that if she built a bigger centre at Akutsima it would be named the Lisa Johnson Health Centre.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015