OSHAKATI - Whilst Namibia is thriving for a zero HIV infection rate by the year 2030, there are still some individuals who are defaulting on their HIV treatment in the Oshana Region.
Oshana Region which has the fifth highest HIV prevalence rate, 1913 patients are said to be defaulting on their HIV treatment.
There are currently 24 374 people on Ante-Retroviral Treatment (ART) in Oshana Region, according to health officials.
The region has an HIV prevalence rate of 15.8 percent, with a population exceeding 170 000.
Other regions with high HIV prevalence rates include Zambezi that has the highest rate at 22 percent, Ohangwena at 17.9 percent, Oshikoto at 17.5 percent and Omusati at 16.9 percent.
In 2016, more than 6000 people defaulted treatment in the region.
In an attempt to make ART accessible across the region, the Ministry of Health and Social Services is providing treatment to all its clinics and health centres in the region.
The revelation was made by the Governor of Oshana Region Elia Irimari in his State of the Region’s Address on Tuesday.
The consequences of defaulting treatment is that the viral load is bound to rebound and the CD4 counts will drop dismally putting one at risk of developing other infections and subsequently getting sick.
Equally, the ministry of health has also reduced the neonatal mortality rates from 29 per 1000 live births in 2017/2018 to 20 per 1000 live births in the current financial year.
Another great achievement in the region is the notable reduction in the under five year’s mortality rates from 51 the previous financial year to 32 per 1000 live births in the year under review.
Also, 99 percent of babies exposed to HIV are now testing negative at 6-8 weeks.
Other notable achievements by the health ministry include the renovation of 15 wards at Oshakati Intermediate Hospital as well as renovations at clinics in the region.
Despite the achievements, the region has serious challenges of aged buildings, shortage of medical specialists, limited theatre space and limited capacity at the Intensive Care Unit.
“These challenges hamper delivery of quality health services in the region,” said Irimari.
Moving forward, the governor said there is a dire need to address infrastructural development challenges, staff shortage and replace aged equipment at health facilities in order to improve the quality of health services offered in the region.
2019-06-20 09:05:16 27 days ago