High HIV infection and transmission in the Kavango East Region has prompted the new health director in the region to urge the community to offer love and support to the affected and infected.

During the commemoration of the belated World AIDS Day held at Mazana Village in Rundu Rural Kavango East, Health Director Idah Mendai explained that community infection is a grave concern.

"For example, the HIV sero-prevalence results for the Kavango East Region from the 2027 NAPHIA survey results stood at 14.5%, compared with the 15.1% recent finding from the 2022 report. Another challenge, which is one issue still driving HIV transmission in the community, is the high level of HIV stigma and discrimination in our society. This needs to come to an end. We need to support each other when they are diagnosed. When they are living in our homes, we need to accept them in our space and give them support. My appeal to all of you is that we ought to be a society that has compassion for those members affected or infected with HIV instead of discriminating against each other."

The Chairperson of the Kavango Regional Council, Damien Maghambayi, further urged people to adhere to the instructions. 

"Data provided by the Ministry of Health and Social Services shows that the Kavango East region has slightly over 15,000 clients on HIV treatment, of which 94% are virally supported. Let us find new strength and double our efforts so that when we are asked what we did or how we responded to these pandemics, history will be on our side."

Maghambayi noted that access to treatment has been further increased through differentiated service delivery, where patients visit clinics or hospitals once a year to receive their medications through their community adherence group leaders and also when going for regular medical checkups. 

A mobile health clinic was also officially launched as part of the programme, with the aim of providing health services such as HIV testing, high blood pressure, cervical cancer screening, and many more.

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Photo Credits
MICT Kavango East Region