By Simon Liseli
RECENT statistics have shown increase in the death rates of the patients who died before taking on treatments and the big number has indicated deaths of people on drugs.
At the end of September 2011, about 8342 clients and patients on HIV care prevention were diagnosed of having a virus which causes Aids of which out of 6647 were on ARV treatments.
In Caprivi region alone , 162 patients died before treatment while 335 died being on treatment which brought the total to 497 of the people who have died of Aids since 2008.
The Caprivi region is currently having 13 sites that are providing Anti Retro Viral drugs and all the facilities are doing counseling and testing.
This was exposed during the World Aids Day which is annually celebrated on December 1, of each year.
The global theme for 2011 was “Zero HIV New Infections, Zero discrimination and Zero related deaths”.
In Caprivi region , residents gathered in the town of Katima Mulilo at Katima Mulilo Open Market after marching from NBC siLozi Radio station.
Speaking during the World Aids Day, Mr. Makwele Chris Bernard a 54 year old man publicly came out and told the gathering how he started his HIV treatment with ARVs drugs and he encouraged people not to be afraid for voluntary counseling and testing for HIV and AIDS especially men who still seem to be far from these programs.
“You see myself I can do any work, I started ARV drugs in 2004 and now I am seven (7) years taking them every day 6 o’clock in the morning and 6 o’clock in the evening, I am a star ambassador and a brave man who doesn’t fear anything,” he quashed.
He called on leaders in the region to talk to their people about HIV/AIDS as it is not a threat and they should therefore encourage men to be involved in HIV/AIDS programs.
Reading the speech on behalf of the Caprivi Regional Governor, Katima Mulilo town mayor Mr. John Likando said the country has generalised the epidemic that has spread throughout the society.
In his speech, he highlighted that in 2009 -10 the HIV prevalence in the general population of Namibia among people aged 15 – 49 years was estimated at 13% according to national HIV sentinel survey.
Approximately 16 new infections were occurring everyday which means 25% amongst infants aged less than one year, 31% amongst youth aged 15 – 24 and 37% in person aged 25 years and older according to MOHSS report of 2009.
In 2008 – 09 approximately 5830 people became newly infected with HIV and the 2008 national HIV sentinel survey estimated over 54% of the new infections were women and 32% of them were children under 15 years.
In 2010 there was a slight increase in the HIV prevalence rate in pregnant women from 17,8% in 2008 to 18,8 % meaning this estimation was on an increase.
“Our global and national target is “ZERO NEW INFECTION” said Katima Mulilo mayor.
Stigma and discrimination still fuel the transmission of HIV and these have greatly increased the negative impact associated with epidemic.
“Let`s stop stigmatizing and discriminating against our brothers and sisters who are infected by HIV and AIDS,” he said.
He further called upon residents of the Caprivi region to support each other in health related matters especially those who are infected by HIV and AIDS, “Let us work together in getting to zero new HIV infection, zero discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths,” he concluded.