ONGWEDIVA – Wrong HIV/AIDS-related statistics attributed to Omusati Region and contained in Governor Erginus Endjala’s State of the Region Address (SORA) last week were an oversight, the governor said yesterday.
In fact, the figures – which indicates that 220 000 adults are living with HIV and that 25 new infections are recorded daily – are national statistics and cannot be confined to Omusati.
It was also wrongly stated in the governor’s speech that 11 deaths from AIDS are recorded daily in Omusati, when this is in fact a national statistic.
Endjala, speaking to New Era yesterday, said there was an “oversight” in the compilation of the statistics and their incorporation in his speech, which has since caused quite a public stir.
Information released by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) last week shows that HIV prevalence rate in Omusati currently stands at 17.4 percent.
“Those are national figures and not regional figures,” Endjala confirmed yesterday. “The problem is that we did not quote the source of information.”
He said the figures were obtained from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Namibian Statistics Agency (NSA).
In addition to the new infections and deaths recorded daily countrywide, one in 10 adults is also said to be infected with HIV.
Endjala’s address was read on his behalf by chairperson of the Omusati Regional Council and councillor of Oshikuku Constituency Modestus Amutse. The governor fell ill shortly after he commenced with his address.
Yesterday, he said the motive for revealing the statistics was to enhance awareness and to caution the region’s inhabitants to protect themselves against the deadly disease.
“Looking at the high national HIV rates in the country, we saw it befitting to caution the residents as it mostly affects the productive members of the society,” said Endjala.
Last week PEPFAR availed over N$1 billion for its HIV/AIDS programme and activities in Namibia.