Nkurenkuru-Kavango West now has better equipped health clinics that render antiretroviral treatment (ART) services to the community. This is thanks to the multibillion dollar investment by the US government through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
In Nkurenkuru, PEPFAR invested about N$1.7 million to construct a prefabricated ART clinic and waiting area at the Nkurenkuru Health Centre, while in Nankudu, PEPFAR spent about N$1.2 million to renovate and partition the ART clinic. It also added a waiting area to the facility to make it more accessible and attractive for patients.
“We are not just cutting a ribbon, we are celebrating another important step towards Namibia becoming HIV-free,” said the US ambassador to Namibia, Thomas Daughton, when he handed over the facilities to the health ministry on Tuesday.
Daughton said the American government is working towards making sure that all Namibians who are HIV-positive know their status so that they are able to access the life-saving treatment.
“Early this year PEPFAR committed itself to provide improved antiretroviral treatment clinic space for the communities served by the Nkurenkuru Health Centre and the Nankudu District Hospital. Today, that commitment has been fulfilled,” Daughton noted.
“Today is also a celebration of the hard work that has been put in by the team on site and by the teams at national and regional levels. And, most importantly, today is a celebration of the better quality of care that will be available to more than 1,000 patients on ART at Nkurenkuru and to more than 800 patients from the local community at Nankudu,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Kavango West Regional Governor, Sirkka Ausiku, has appealed to private sector institutions, especially those in the health fraternity, to journey towards the elimination of HIV/Aids.
Ausiku made the call during the official handover of a prefabricated ART clinic at Nkurenkuru on Tuesday.
The governor acknowledged the efforts made by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through PEPFAR in the fight against HIV/Aids in the region and the country at large for the past three decades.
“We are now moving towards the elimination of this dreadful disease and I therefore express my profound gratitude and appeal to other institutions and the private sector to come on board and journey towards the elimination of HIV,” appealed Ausiku. – Additional reporting by Nampa