IRIN/PlusNews Examines Challenges of Providing Antiretrovirals in Namibia
September 18, 2008
Although more than half of HIV-positive Namibians thought to be in need of antiretroviral drugs are receiving them, Namibian officials are struggling to monitor patients and ensure they continue to receive the treatments, IRIN/PlusNews reports.
According to IRIN/PlusNews, Namibia's shortage of medical personnel and lack of food security also contribute to the struggle to maintain antiretroviral adherence. Michael Mulondo, executive director of the Namibia Network of AIDS Service Organization, said that the "challenge" faced by many communities is poverty from lack of money and food. Hamunime said the lack of money for transportation and food prevents people living with HIV/AIDS from continuing treatment, which is "why we must strive to provide treatment at local clinics."
According to Hamunime, the Ministry of Health recently has started a strategy of "task-shifting" the initiation and management of antiretroviral treatments from physicians to nurses, which began this month in a pilot program supported by PEPFAR. Hamunime said Namibia would like to "follow the lessons learned" from countries with similar programs, adding that it is "especially important in remote areas where there are no doctors" (IRIN/PlusNews, 9/16).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.