Hilary Clinton applauds Namibia for fight against HIV/AIDS

WINDHOEK: United States of America (USA) Secretary of State, Hillary Rodman Clinton applauded the Namibian Government for taking ownership and providing half of the financing in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Namibia.

Clinton said this on Wednesday during a high-level meeting where African leaders, including President Hifikepunye Pohamba, gathered in New York, USA on the sidelines of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss the African Union (AU) Roadmap.

A media statement issued by the American Embassy here on Thursday said Clinton made reference to Namibia when she was asked whether Africa is taking ownership in the fight against AIDS.

“I can tell people about Namibia, who now provides half of the financing for its fight against HIV/AIDS.

Dozens of doctors and nurses, who used to be supported by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) or the Global Fund, are now paid by and overseen by the Namibian Government,” she was quoted as saying.

Clinton noted that soon many Namibian pharmacists and nurses will make the same transition, and she thanked Namibia for its leadership.

She also made reference to South Africa, where the government now accounts for about three quarters of all HIV/AIDS spending in the country, and Rwanda that also took over the management of treatment programmes at 70 medical facilities, serving over 30 000 HIV-positive patients.

The US Secretary of State indicated that her country is pilot-testing a scorecard that will allow partners to access joint programmes and progress in building a sustainable, country-owned health programme, including its efforts to fight HIV/AIDS.

“So the steps that you are discussing today represent measurable progress, but to deliver on that promise, the promise of this moment, we have to maintain progress and build on it.

If every nation devastated by HIV follows the example of many of the leaders in this room and step up to shared responsibility, we will not just keep up our momentum, we will accelerate our progress and move even faster toward the day when we can announce the birth of an AIDS-free generation,” she added.

Meanwhile, African leaders gathered to review progress made in the implementation of the 2001 Abuja Declaration on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and other related Infectious Diseases, and called for sustainable strategies to advance health towards 2015 and beyond.

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