OTJIWARONGO: The Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS) on Saturday launched an antiretroviral therapy (ART) campaign to promote access to such treatment for children living with HIV/AIDS in the Grootfontein area.
Grootfontein is situated more than 200 kilometres east of Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region.
The campaign is being carried out in conjunction with the Netherlands Red Cross.
Speaking at the launch, NRCS Secretary-General Dorkas Kapembe-Haiduwa said the campaign is aimed at raising awareness of ART programmes offered to people in the Otjozondjupa Region.
“We are running this campaign to help communities in this region understand what antiretroviral therapy or ART is,” she stated.
She explained that ART consists of a combination of information on medications that can suppress the HIV virus, improve immunity systems, help preserve normal growth and development, and improve the quality of life of the affected child and their family. The treatment is available at clinics and hospitals under the Ministry of Health and Social Services in all 13 regions country-wide.
Kapembe-Haiduwa said the NRCS wants to ensure that people who are in need of ART knows about its benefits and where to find it.
“When it comes to HIV, children are one of the most vulnerable groups, but by rolling out ART and its programmes and taking the treatment correctly, one can reduce death and prolong life,” she said.
NRCS has active catchment areas for ART services in regions like Omusati, Ohangwena, Khomas and Kavango, amongst others.
“It provides holistic care and support to 300 orphans and vulnerable children across some five catchment areas here in the Grootfontein district,” said Kapembe-Haiduwa.
The Namibia Red Cross Society is a volunteer-led organisation. Amongst its many functions, it also strives to help improve the quality of life of people living with HIV and their families in the country, as well as orphans and vulnerable children.
The NRCS aims to help orphans and vulnerable children reduce their vulnerability in addition to building the children’s capacity and resilience and enabling them to cope with the challenges they face on a daily basis.