Minister of Health and Social Services Dr Bernard Haufiku says individuals who claim they can cure HIV/AIDS are self-proclaimed prophets.
The minister warned the community members to distance themselves from and to be vigilant against ‘doomed prophets’, whose motive is merely to make money.
He warned that self-styled prophets have no medicine knowledge, hence cannot cure AIDS.
“Note the mushrooming false and self-styled portrayed prophets and so-called healers filling up our streets and townships, who go around literally telling lies that they can cure AIDS and milking ignorant Namibians,” warned the health minister.
He was speaking at the intra-health of USAID HIV Clinical Services Technical Assistance Project (UTAP) launch at Odibo on Wednesday.
The USAID-funded US$12-million project seeks to assist the Namibian government and the faith-based community to control the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
The minister also advised the youth to stay away from alcohol, tobacco, cigarettes and drugs, stressing that these are catalysts for self-destruction and obstacles to national development.
“No nation can develop when its citizens, especially the youth, are alcoholic slaves and drug dependants,” warned the health minister.
He further warned the youth that alcohol and drug abuse are directly linked to HIV and contribute heavily to the high rate of HIV.
“Alcohol abuse is directly linked to HIV transmission. As you are inebriated, you lack control of your senses including decision-making and judgment,” warned the minister.
Last year’s findings have indicated that five districts in Omusati, Oshikoto and Kavango have reported an increase in HIV cases among the youth.
Haufiku warned the youth in Zambezi, who are in support of the N$1 billion tobacco plantation in Zambezi Region to choose health above toxins. “My plea to you and your parents and the leadership in that region is let us choose health above toxins! Choose life above death! No amount of money can be worth even a single human life,” said Haufiku.
The plantation in which Swapo Regional Co-ordinator for Oshikoto Armas Amukwiyu is a local shareholder of the Chinese-run Namibia Oriental Tobacco CC will cover 10 000 hectares of virgin land in Zambezi.
“This same plea goes to some of my comrades and friends who are spearheading the Tobacco Project in that great region, Zambezi. Let us plant maize, potatoes, mahangu and other staples – not toxins,” advised Haufiku.
The minister encouraged Namibians to unite in fighting off the evils of tobacco and alcohol abuse for the wellbeing of the present and future generations and for the sake of health programmes and projects such as the one just launched. Also speaking at the launch, US Ambassador Thomas Daughton said the control of the pandemic is possible if there is teamwork.
According to Daughton, USAID has supported seven faith-based health facilities provide antiretroviral treatment to 16 000 people.