Namibia to receive US$90m for HIV programming

• By Staff Reporter

LAST week, the U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Jess Long announced that the United States will contribute US$90.4 million in 2022 towards Namibia’s fight against HIV/AIDS through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

This is an increase from US$89 million contributed this year.

The US$90.4 million will intensify the country’s efforts to reach epidemic control of the HIV epidemic.

“Namibia has made strides in the fight against HIV and is a global leader in nearing epidemic control. PEPFAR supports a number of different interventions that will bring Namibia closer to epidemic control and strengthen Namibia’s health care system,” said Long.

“In 2022, PEPFAR Namibia will support the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) to further scale up interventions which began in 2021, including programmes addressing mental and emotional health in patients on anti-retroviral therapy (ART).”

Additional activities included in the 2022 investment are support for recency testing, which is a procedure that shows the healthcare worker how recently a person was infected with HIV.

Funding for 2022 will also support the Ministry of Health and Social Services to set up an SMS reminder service to send messages to ART patients when they need to collect their medicine.

PEPFAR will sustain its investment to provide comprehensive support to over 37 000 orphans and vulnerable children and adolescents in 18 districts. 

PEPFAR will continue its support for girls to stay HIV-free through the DREAMS programme which works with over 80 000 adolescent girls and young women in nine districts.

PEPFAR will also fund a range of additional activities to prevent transmission of HIV, including Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision.  Funding for VMMC will expand demand-creation events using community mobilisers, peer promotion, churches, and social media to create awareness and increase VMMC coverage in 12 regions.

Additionally, PEPFAR will help increase the number of Key Populations on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a medicine that helps prevent transmission of HIV.

The 2022 funding period began this month and ends in September of 2022, which is the U.S. government’s fiscal year.

“Through this support, together, we will work with the Namibian government to realise its vision of universal health coverage, so that all people in Namibia have access to affordable, quality health services,” said Long.

The United States government has invested approximately US$1.6 billion in HIV programming in Namibia since 2005.