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APO International

The World Health Organization (WHO) Representative to Namibia courtesy visit to the Minister of Health and Social Services

todayJuly 11, 2024 3

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On 20 June 2024, the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative to Namibia, Dr. Richard Banda paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Health and Social Services, Honorable Dr. Kalumbi Shangula. The meeting aimed to cement the existing partnership between the Ministry of Health and Social Services and WHO under the new leadership and affirm commitments to ensuring health for all.    

Honorable Dr. Shangula warmly welcomed Dr. Banda to Namibia, highlighting the close partnership between the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) and WHO. He applauded WHO for its unwavering support to the ministry, saying that “as a ministry, we are actively engaged and participating in WHO work. We participate in various consultations with WHO regarding the review of the International Health Regulations and the drafting Pandemic Accord among others”.

During the meeting, Dr. Banda commented the Government of Namibia for the tremendous progress in addressing to public health issues. “We have seen remarkable progress in the HIV response, with the country achieving the 90-90-90 targets. We are now aiming for the 95-95-95 target. If kept on track, Namibia will be able to end AIDS by 2030 and be among the first countries to do so” he remarked. Additionally, he congratulated Namibia for its key milestones achievement in eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and Hepatitis B. 

Minister Shangula noted the challenges posed by conspiracies in the HIV response within the community. He emphasized the government’s commitment to implementing effective health programs, starting with the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, which was fully funded by the government and supported by partners.  “The results achieved by the program are promising, but we are still striving to meet the elimination targets” he added.

The discussion further highlighted the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCD) and the need for increased investment in NCD and reduction in risk factors. Currently, WHO is supporting MoHSS in reviewing the Tobacco Products Control Act of 2010, to ensure a comprehensive legal and policy framework for tobacco control.

 Additionally, the two leaders noted the success in polio eradication with reference to the successful management of the 2005 polio outbreak. The country’s progress in improving Tuberculosis (TB) indicators was also highlighted. 

WHO reiterated its commitment to supporting the Government of Namibia in addressing public health challenges and enhancing the Ministry’s efforts to ensuring universal health coverage.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO) – Namibia.

    

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