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The Global Fund and the Ministry of Health and Social Services have launched Grand Cycle 7 for the next three years.

With this support, Namibia aims to end HIV/AIDS as a public health threat by 2026, attain HIV epidemic control by 2028, decrease the burden of TB, and achieve zero indigenous malaria cases by 2027.

Since 2004, the Global Fund has disbursed over US$391 million, equivalent to more than N$7 billion.

It has recently approved a three-year Grant Cycle 7 valued at over N$672 million and an additional N$297 million for the COVID-19 Response Mechanism.

Namibia, which is misclassified as an upper-middle-income country, has long been at the forefront of the fight against HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria. 

However, the health ministry says the country faces formidable challenges in its quest to ensure equitable access to quality healthcare services for all our citizens. 

The grant provided by the Global Fund will therefore complement government efforts in its journey towards overcoming these challenges and achieving public health goals.

"Firstly, it will enable us to strengthen and expand our healthcare infrastructure, particularly in underserved areas, ensuring that even the most remote communities have access to essential health services. By investing in the construction and equipping of healthcare facilities, we can bridge the gaps in healthcare delivery and improve health outcomes across the nation. Furthermore, the grant will support capacity-building initiatives aimed at training and empowering healthcare professionals," said Dr. Kalumbi Shangula.

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila commended the 20-year partnership between Namibia and the Global Fund.

"Through this partnership, the country has recorded a significant reduction in HIV incidences and has boosted malaria and TB prevention initiatives countrywide. Furthermore, the Global Fund has been a consistent supporter of capacity enhancement in the health sector through training of health care workers and support for civil society organisations."

Between 2015 and 2022, Namibia saw a reduction of 30% in cases of tuberculosis.

Namibia has further achieved the WHO End TB Strategy 2020 milestone with a 20% reduction rate between 2015 and 2020.
 
Although 13,718 malaria cases were reported in 2023, Namibia is currently in the malaria pre-eliminating phase and aims to eliminate it by 2030.

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NBC Digital News

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Lucy Nghifindaka