Geingos applauds progress on reducing HIV deaths

CEREMONY … Chinese ambassador to Namibia Zhao Weiping, with first lady Monica Geingos and justice minister Yvonne Dausab. With them are children from the Namibia Children’s Home. Photo: Henry Van Rooi

First lady Monica Geingos applauded the Ministry of Health and Social Services’ leadership in reducing HIV deaths by 60% in the last two decades.

She was speaking at the opening of a free medical check-up campaign at the Namibia Children’s Home in Windhoek on Wednesday. The medical team doing the check-ups, led by professor Huang Shwei, is from China and were organised by the Chinese embassy.

“Recently, our minister of health received an international award in recognition of Namibia’s progress towards achieving the 95-95-95 targets for testing 95% of the population, putting 95% of those on treatment and having 95% of those virally suppressed,” Geingos said.

She said although this is good news for Namibia, Africa has fewer children on treatment for HIV than adults, which leads to more deaths among young people, especially adolescent girls and young women.

According to estimates by the United Nations, Africa’s population is growing three times faster than the global average, said Geingos.
This happensas many large countries face declining population growth, she said.

“By 2070, Africa will become the most populous region… As we speak, Africa has the youngest population and to harness the potential of this demographic dividend, we must ensure that our young people are healthy, educated, loved and protected from harm,” she said.

The first lady said Namibia has robust systems in place for optimal projection and provision services to all children in Namibia.
These services are underpinned by the progressive Child Care and Protection Act.

In addition to solid laws protecting children, Namibia’s child protection services include a monthly grant to orphans and vulnerable children, free primary and secondary education, and highly subsidised tertiary education, according to Geingos said. “It is not a perfect system, but it’s a good system.

It’s a system that can only be perfected if we all get involved and lend a helping hand,” she said.

Speaking at the same event, deputy minister for disability affairs Alexia Manombe-Ncube said she is pleased that the children of the Namibia Children’s Home are the first to benefit from the initiative.

“I hope that in the near future more vulnerable Namibians can be accommodated,” she said.

The event is part of ‘For the Health of African Orphans’ campaign, held under the theme: ‘Warm Hearts of Children, a China-Africa Joint Action’.

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