Condoms run on beer distribution network

From the left, Nellius Phillipus (COAG Grant Coordinator; DAPP); Peter van Wyk (CEO of Healthworks); Wessie van der Westhuizen (NBL Managing Director); Juliet Kavetuna (Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services); Kirsten Moëller (Director of DAPP); Carmen Perez-Samaniego (GIZ Team leader); and Matthew Black (Development Advisor – GIZ).

The Breweries has thrown the weight of its massive distribution network behind a project that distributes condoms to rural communities. Recently, the focus has been on the Ohangwena region as part of a campaign to distribute 1.4 million SMILE condoms through the distribution channels of Namibia Breweries Ltd. The project continues until December this year.

The campaign is run in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Services; the GIZ; Healthworks Business Coalition and DAPP.
According to government’s Demographic and Health Survey 2013, 14% of adults aged 15to 49 and 16.4% of those aged 50 and above are HIV positive.
Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Hon Juliet Kavetuna said at a stakeholders meeting of the condom distribution pilot programme, “The Namibian response to HIV & AIDS has been aggressive and persistent. Namibia is in the fourth year of its five-year strategy to address HIV/AIDS. This strategy addresses a number of factors important to the future course of the HIV epidemic, including efforts to increase levels of HIV & AIDS-related knowledge among the general population, decrease social stigmatisation of people living with HIV and modify risk behaviours.”
The project leveraged the strengths of Namibia Breweries’ logistical system to reliably and efficiently deliver condoms provided by the Ministry of Health and Social Services to large redistributors who pass them down the distribution channel until they reach shebeens in the most remote communities. The basic concept of the project is simple as Namibia Breweries utilizes its current logistical system for beverages to deliver a critical health product at the same time.
In the trial phase, DAPP, a non-governmental organization with an extensive network of field officers in the four central Northern regions of Namibia, supported the ‘last mile’ of distribution from Namibia Breweries’ customers, to shebeens. DAPP also played a key role in closely monitoring the distribution to, and uptake of, condoms at shebeens. This data gained will be essential in informing the planned rollout of the project to other regions.
NBL Managing Director, Wessie van der Westhuizen said “The year-long Condom Distribution Pilot Project proved to be extremely successful. Applying the John Stover measure, it is estimated that approximately two thousand seven hundred (2700) new HIV infections were prevented as a result of this initiative.”