US embassy donates 4 vehicles to hunt down HIV

The new vehicles will enable DAPP's healthcare providers to expand comprehensive community-based HIV and TB services.

15 October 2020 | Local News

STAFF REPORTER

WINDHOEK



As part of the effort to expand HIV services in Namibia, the United States embassy in Namibia has provided two Toyota Hiluxes and two Toyota Land Cruisers to Non-Government Organisation (NGO) partner Development Aid from People to People (DAPP Namibia).

DAPP Namibia, a local NGO that partners with the US embassy's PEPFAR programme and the ministry of health and social services to fight HIV, is expanding its work into six additional regions: Kunene, Erongo, Hardap, //Karas, Omaheke and Otjozondjupa.

The four new vehicles will enable DAPP's healthcare providers to expand comprehensive community-based HIV and TB services to those new regions.



Epidemic control

The US embassy's PEPFAR coordinator, Carey Spear, told a media briefing that locating the last undiscovered HIV hotspots of transmission is one of the remaining steps for Namibia to reach HIV epidemic control.

At the same media briefing, US ambassador Lisa Johnson pledged continued support to Namibia to reach HIV epidemic control.

“95% of people with HIV know their status. 95% of people with HIV who know their status are on treatment. And 92% of the people on treatment take their medications regularly and are virally suppressed,” she said.

“Those are high numbers, but we can't stop now. We are working together to get them even higher so that we can proudly say Namibia has achieved HIV epidemic control.”



DAPP care

The four new vehicles will allow DAPP to provide HIV testing services to new regions, as well as other HIV care. DAPP helps people living with HIV to stay on their medications through a range of support mechanisms, such as community adherence groups. DAPP also supports new mothers with HIV, offering them assistance with raising healthy children while managing HIV. The value of the vehicles is approximately N$2.4 million. The funding was provided by PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) through the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Namibia. Before a US programme partner like DAPP purchases a vehicle using PEPFAR funding, strict safeguards ensure the vehicles will be properly monitored and used. The US embassy also ensures that the vehicles are properly registered and insured, and are accounted for in an annual inventory.

Since 2005, the US government has invested nearly US$1.6 billion in HIV programming in Namibia.

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