1 year ago


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4 NEWS Thursday, April

4 NEWS Thursday, April 20 2017 | NEW ERA Not all HIV patients stick to treatment “NAMPHIA will help us to confirm if the estimate is accurate. If we have comprehensive local data about how infants and children are entering the HIV cycle then we can do more to save their lives.” – Thomas Daughton Alvine Kapitako Windhoek Better ways of ensuring that patients with HIV do not default on their anti-retroviral medicine can be developed with comprehensive information on why some infected people default, the ambassador of the United States to Namibia, Thomas Daughton, has said. Speaking at the launch of the Namibia Populationbased HIV Impact Assessment (NAMPHIA) survey yesterday, Daughton said the health system currently does not retain 100 percent of HIV positive patients, who are on treatment. “Interventions have already been put in place to improve patient retention, but we can do more,” he said. The country has never had representative data about HIV infections among babies and young children, Daughton further noted. Current data on HIV positive children who are on treatment is based on estimates, he added. “NAMPHIA will help us to confirm if the estimate is accurate. If we have comprehensive local data about how infants and children are entering the HIV cycle then we can do more to save their lives,” Daughton said, further stressing that NAMPHIA is not a government-only initiative. “The survey will collect information about how many people are currently infected with HIV, how many people have new infections and how many people with HIV are on effective treatment,” Daughton concluded. Future doctors… The University of Namibia’s School of Medicine has welcomed 193 new students for the 2017 academic year. The new students are pictured here during their White Coat ceremony. Over 100 Namibians studying medicine in China WINDHOEK Over 100 young Namibians are undergoing training in various medical fields at institutions of higher learning in China. The figure was made public by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi- Ndaitwah in a media statement availed to Nampa on Wednesday. The minister recently Eveline de Klerk Walvis Bay South African High Commissioner to Namibia Mavivi Myakayaka- Manzini has paid tribute to two South African defence force members, who drowned during a SADC joint military exercise, dubbed Operation Welwitschia, that took place in Namibia on October 6, 2013. Myakayaka-Manzini, who was welcoming the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) navy wing aboard the SAS Amatola at Walvis Bay on undertook an official visit to China, which ended last Wednesday. “We are grateful for China’s support, as there are currently over 100 young Namibians students undergoing training in China as medical practitioners,” she said. Nandi-Ndaitwah said the number is growing as many self-sponsored young Namibian students go to China by choice. Tuesday evening, described the incident as tragic and a constant reminder of the dangers defence forces face while protecting peace and security throughout Africa. “The last mission, three years ago in Namibia was not a very pleasant one for SANDF. I had to come here to meet some of your members following a tragic accident that claimed three lives, of which two was from us,” said Myakayaka-Manzini. The two officials, Captain Kgabo Wilson Mabutla and Corporal Senatla Abel Sebooa, both 27 years old at that time, went “This will greatly alleviate the shortage of medical practitioners in Namibia in the near future,” she said. In 2016 the University of Namibia (UNAM) produced 35 medical practitioners. The Namibian-educated medical practitioners were among the first group of 57 candidates, who had enrolled for the medical programme in 2010 when the university’s School of missing alongside a Malawian defence force member, when a Barracuda rapid insertion and extraction boat they were on capsized. They were part of a team of 32 Special Forces soldiers, who were taking part in the Special Forces exercise, Operation Welwitschia, off the coast of Sandwich Harbour near Walvis Bay. At least 16 soldiers managed to swim to safety and the Malawian soldier’s body washed ashore several minutes after the incident. Sebooa’s body washed out weeks after the tragic event, but Mabutla’s Medicine first opened its doors. Of the 35, 23 were women and 12 men. Former president Hifikepunye Pohamba, during the UNAM graduation ceremony in April 2016, said the achievement of these young Namibians in various fields of medicine is testimony to the fact that Namibia is slowly but surely moving away from being dependent on other countries’ expertise. – Nampa South Africa’s fallen SADC soldiers remembered remains were never recovered. “Until today we have not been able to recover the remains of Mabutla. I relate this incident to show the sacrifices our uniformed men and women make in defence of peace and security in our country and Africa as a continent,” she said. The South African navy also participated in the centenary commemoration of the SS Mendi, which sunk off the Isle of Wight in England on February 21, 1917, when she collided with another ship, claiming the lives of 600 South Africans within 20 minutes. 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Thursday, April 20 2017 | NEW ERA NEWS 5 Survey to generate detailed HIV info Alvine Kapitako Windhoek A population-based HIV survey, which will generate detailed data on the HIV epidemic in Namibia, was launched yesterday. The Namibia Populationbased HIV Impact Assessment (NAMPHIA) survey will measure the impact of HIV programmes in the country and cover at least 12 000 randomly selected households countrywide. The survey will start next month and continue for the next six months. Its results would be availed in 2018. American ambassador to Namibia, Thomas Daughton, said at the launch that results from the sentinel and demographic health surveys show that at least 80 percent of people living with HIV in Namibia know their HIV status. Also, between 75 and 80 percent of people living with HIV in Namibia are on antiretroviral treatment and Photo: Emmency Nuukala Seeking answers… U.S Ambassador Thomas Daughton, health minister Bernard Haufiku and First Lady Monica Geingos. 87 percent of people on treatment are virally suppressed. However, there is a need for a population-based perspective to understand the full magnitude of what has not been done in fighting HIV/AIDS, said the ambassador. “We still need more information because there are still things about the epidemic that we do not know and that we need to know. To put it simply, we need to know exactly how HIV is affecting Namibia at the level of individual Namibians,” said Daughton. People living with HIV and people living without it can all play their part in helping Namibia reach epidemic control by agreeing to participate, if their household is selected, in the NAMPHIA survey, stressed Daughton. “More than 26 000 people will have the opportunity to contribute to how the healthcare system designs targeted interventions to control the AIDS epidemic,” he added. Meanwhile, Dr Bernard Haufiku, the Minister of Health and Social Services, explained that the NAM- PHIA study is different from the sentinel survey in the sense that the latter screens very limited numbers of subjects, often with confines such as women of reproductive age. The women tested are above 15 years and below 49 years while in the case of the NAMPHIA survey people below 15 years and above 49 years would be screened for HIV. “The study will check for incidence of HIV, the prevalence of HIV and viral load levels at community level and it will inform policymakers and programme managers on how many people in different communities have been exposed to HIV services in Namibia,” explained the health minister. He further said that people who will be gathering data for the survey should not see it as an employment creation scheme to make money. “Its primary aim is to help us understand the HIV epidemic in Namibia for us to manage it better and contain the epidemic,” said Haufiku. Namibia is the 13th country to implement a population-based survey. The World Health Organisation in 2005 recommended population-based studies. The survey will start next month and would last for six months. Albertina Nakale Windhoek The Minister of Justice Albert Kawana says the severe shortage of experienced judicial drafters, which hampers service delivery, is an unfortunate reality. Kawana said if nothing is done to urgently address the critical shortage of experienced legislative drafters the country would experience more challenges in the lawmaking process, which might affect the work of the legislative arm of the state. Kawana – who made the comments last week when motivating the N3. 429 million budget of the justice ministry – said legislative drafting is a very scarce and specialized skill. “When an experienced drafter resigns, it takes more than seven Shortage of judicial drafters hampers service delivery years to find a suitable replacement. Due to some changes in the government structure, more bills are expected to be drafted and tabled in parliament,” Kawana noted. The directorate of legislative drafting falls under a sub-programme which aims to translate government policy into legislation. These include drafting of bills and subsidiary legislation such as proclamations, regulations, rules, and drafting of government notices. Further, Kawana maintained that posts were created but, unfortunately, they were not funded. In addition, he said, a number of vacant posts due to resignations have been frozen. He revealed that during the 2016/17 financial year the directorate of legislative drafting received 42 bills, including 13 bills that were brought forward from the previous financial year. According to him, the directorate managed to complete 25 bills for consideration by parliament. The directorate, he said, also received four subsidiary legislation and administrative notices. These include 13 proclamations, which were all completed, 59 regulations of which 46 were completed, 172 government notices, of which 166 were finalized and 11 general notices, of which 166 were finished. The translating of government policy into legislation is a subprogramme under the main one called legal services. This programme has been allocated N.596 million out of the total budget allocated to the ministry. Legal services aims to translate policies into legislation, recommend reform of the law, provide legal services and promote international cooperation in legal matters. The directorate of legal services, Kawana said, is also responsible for the execution of requests on extradition and mutual legal assistance in civil and criminal matters, service of civil process and reciprocal enforcement of maintenance orders and other foreign judgements. Further, the directorate is also responsible for coordination of Namibia’s human rights obligations and cooperation with treaty bodies to which Namibia is required to submit periodic human rights reports. The minister indicated that the ministry created a new division to facilitate the effective implementation of the Maintenance Act of 2003 through the appointment of maintenance officers and maintenance investigators. However, due to financial constraints, Kawana said, no financial resources have been made available in the current budget to implement these important measures. He revealed the ministry will soon approach Cabinet with recommendations aimed at ensuring the Act is fully implemented. ‘Struggle kids’ face charges of damage to property and trespassing ONGWEDIVA A group of 36 ‘struggle kids’, who have been camping near Ondangwa Airport over the past eight months, are accusing the Namibian Police Force of brutality. Speaking to Nampa at Ondangwa over the weekend, the youths said local police officers attacked their camp on the evening of April 12 and roughly dismantled their tents. This followed after two female ‘struggle kids’ on April 11 placed rocks on the main road near the airport out of “frustration over the government’s reluctance to offer them employment”. The youth now claim officers rounded up all of them on the same day and took them to the Ondangwa Police Station, where they were released only several hours later, except for the two women who placed rocks on the road. The two are Maria Endjala and Leticia Jona. They are waiting to appear in the Ondangwa Magistrate’s Court. “They (police) came back to us on 13 April 2017 and arrested our leaders – William Jonas, Iipinge Petrus and Simeon Shikulo – apparently on a charge of trespassing,” the group claimed. The youths indicated they do not condone the placing of rocks on the road, but condemn the manner in which the police attacked them while they were sleeping. Approached for comment on Tuesday, NamPol commander in the Oshana Region, Commissioner Rauha Amwele, confirmed the arrest of the ‘struggle kids’. Amwele said Endjala and Jona are charged with malicious damage to property and the three leaders for trespassing. “They placed big stones in the road and as such two motorists’ cars were damaged, and they have laid charges of damage to property with the police,” Amwele stated. Photo: Nampa Holding out… Some of the ‘struggle kids’ camping at Ondangwa in the Oshana Region for the past eight months to secure government employment. According to her, damage to one of the cars is valued at more than N 000. Amwele also noted that the Ondangwa Town Council had pressed charges of trespassing against the youth for refusing to vacate the site where they are camping unauthorised, hence the arrest of the group leaders. “I was briefly informed that they appeared in court at Ondangwa today (Tuesday), but they are unable to pay bail granted to them,” said Amwele. – Nampa

New Era

New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167