WINDHOEK - Namibia is said to be among the countries of the world highly rated with severe cases of tuberculosis and one of the highest in Africa.
According to statistics on TB Infectious Rates, tuberculosis (TB) is especially problematic in Africa, with Swaziland, Lesotho, South Africa, Namibia, Djibouti, Mozambique and Zimbabwe being the only nations on the globe to have rates higher than 500 incidences per 100 000 people.
President Hage Geingob, who was in New York and addressed the 73rd session of United Nations General Assembly, last week said communicable diseases threaten to jeopardise the attainment of Agenda 2030.
Geingob revealed that with a population of approximately 2.5 million people, Namibia ranks as the 9th highest affected by TB on the continent, which is one of the top three causes of hospitalisation.
World leaders gathered in New York in 2015 to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Agenda 2030). The adoption of Agenda 2030, which sets out a global development vision and priorities for the next 15 years, captures the hopes and ambitions of people around the globe for meaningful change and progress, including in the United States.
The United Nations General Assembly last week decided to hold the first high-level meeting on the fight against TB, under the theme “United to end tuberculosis: an urgent global response to a global epidemic”.
The meeting aims at accelerating efforts in ending TB and reaching all affected people with prevention and care.
Due to high levels of the infectious disease, Geingob said Namibia endorses the call to end tuberculosis endemic and reaffirms her commitment to unite with the world in achieving this goal.
He noted that the government has demonstrated its commitment to address TB by including related targets into the fifth National Development Plan and also by ensuring that 70 percent of available funding for TB comes from domestic resources.
“I should caution that inadequate human and financial resources, high levels of poverty, and lack of public health services in rural areas remain a concern,” he noted.
Geingob, who currently chairs SADC, said the Southern African region reaffirms its commitment to the declaration, through the “Harmonized Surveillance Framework for HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria” and resolves to join the international community in the fight against TB.
To this end, Geingob said Namibia has embraced sustainable development and is fully committed to Agenda 2030, its principles, goals, targets and indicators.
He reported that Namibia has integrated all 17 goals and their targets in its national development plans.
As a dry and arid country, often affected by seasonal droughts and floods, Geingob said the Namibian government has stepped up its efforts in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals in critical areas such as energy, water and terrestrial ecosystems.
Therefore, he said Namibia wishes to benefit from the assistance rendered through the Technology Bank established on 4 June 2018 in Istanbul to enable the timeous identification of spatial locations of drought and flood areas.
While Namibia has witnessed sustained economic growth over much of the last 10 years, he revealed that unemployment remained persistently high.
“Nevertheless, Namibia has observed one of the fastest reductions of poverty levels in our region over the last 10 years – from 28.8 percent to 17.4 percent. I am also happy to inform that life expectancy in Namibia has risen from 58 to 65 years,” Geingob said.