Khomas governor concerned by 13% HIV prevalence rate

The Khomas Region Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua has raised concern over the increase of HIV Prevalence rate within the region despite deliberate efforts and strategies put in place by the Regional AIDS Coordinating Committee (RACOC) to bring the rate down to 11.9%.

Speaking at the 2017 State of the Region Address, Katjirua said, although the (RACOC) continued to tirelessly pursue the goals of the regional response to the scourge of HIV and AIDS within the framework of annual strategic plans, the biennially Sero Sentinel Survey of 2016 has noted the HIV Prevalence Rate in Khomas region at 13% to a region that tasted to bring down its HIV prevalence to as low as 11.9% in 2014 adding that the current rate is surely disturbing.

Although the HIV prevalence rate continues to increase tremendously in the Khomas Region, the State of the region address shows that, during the past financial year, 2016/2017 (RACOC)  through the Khomas Regional Council has however provided  basic food to people living with HIV/AIDS and OVC’s families in extreme need  to, the value of N$180, 000.

“This food assistance helped the needy to stick to their HIV treatment as opposed to defaulting when they cannot take their HIV treatment as opposed to defaulting when they cannot take their medicine on empty stomachs,” she explained. She added that, “The regional Prevalence Rate is notably low, but that indicates a sign of rising up again requires us to ask ourselves some questions and answer them in honesty, are we getting into a relaxed mode while danger roams, are the some loopholes that we need to patch tightly before it is too late, we still need to remain focused intensively and consistently in our efforts, especially in the area of counselling and HIV testing.”

While explaining about the importance of counselling and HIV testing, Katjirua further added that, comprehensive treatment adherence counselling of all eligible clients in a supportive environment is another aspect that cannot be underestimated, while scaling up strategies to enhance Sexual Behaviour change.

In addition, the 2017 state of the region address also stated that, in collaboration with volunteer’s community activists, community leaders and Resource Persons (RACOC) stakeholders continue to reach out in tracking treatment defaulters and identify needy Orphans and Vulnerable Children in remote communities with the purpose of returning them to treatment and linking them to available services in the region.

 “We will continue to closely relate our program to the national guidelines and where it fits, take alternate initiatives that suit our regional characteristics, thus making every single affected life to be worthy fi ghting for by all means at hand,” Katjirua noted.