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Wellness Programme initiates first clients on ARV treatment

Wellness Programme initiates first clients on ARV treatment

The Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) commenced the roll out of an Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ATR) at its Roadside Wellness Clinics in Katima Mulilo and Oshikango.

The HIV Anti-Retroviral Treatment programme is part of a pilot phase at the two clinics in Zambezi and Ohangwena regions, with plans to expand the service at WBCG’s other two clinics in the Khomas and Erongo regions.

The initiative allows clients to enjoy a “one stop point of health care” approach at the WBCG clinics. “We are reducing the burden of patients on public health facilities and providing key and vulnerable hard to reach populations with an opportunity to access vital health services at community and workplace levels” Manager of the WBCG’s Wellness Services, Edward Shivute said.

Regarded as the best Private Sector Organisation implementing health and wellness programmes in Namibia for 2016. The Public-Private-Private logistic company and the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) have enjoyed a long-standing relationship which has culminated in the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The agreement allows for the sharing of resources to support its expansion programme through the current health services to reach more Namibians, especially the hard to reach but vulnerable populations. The WBCG’s accessible clinics were selected as the perfect location to implement the campaign, as they are able to provide this service in high risk populations.

During the last quarter of 2016 from October to December 2016, the project provided HIV testing services to 2085 clients, who included long distance truck drivers, sex workers and other general populations in four (4) regions.

“Out of this number, 80 clients tested HIV +, although these HIV+ clients were referred to other health facilities for enrolment on the HIV treatment programme, we were unable to trace them and ensure that they were indeed registered on the HIV treatment programme.” Shivute said, adding that their clinics are able to provide comprehensive health services including HIV testing and immediately initiating clients who test HIV+ on this life saving treatment,

The project is implemented in line with the National Strategic Framework on HIV response, with a particular focus on reaching out to key and vulnerable populations. The WBCG is further committed to support the Ministry of Health and Social Services efforts of reaching the 90-90-90 global health targets of:
90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status
90% of all people diagnosed with HIV will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy
90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have durable suppression

This initiative was made possible through technical and financial support by USAID, The Society for Family Health (SFH), Management Science for Health (MSH) and the health ministry and other local stakeholders working the WBCG. The result of this team work is foreseen to have a major impact on the HIV epidemic in Namibia for key populations.

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