Namibia Tracking Down Last HIV Hotspots with Four New Cars from U.S. Embassy

The new vehicles provided by the U.S. Embassy in Namibia to Development Aid from People to People (DAPP Namibia).

Windhoek – As part of the effort to expand HIV services in Namibia, the U.S. Embassy in Namibia has provided two Toyota Hiluxes and two Toyota Land Cruisers to NGO partner Development Aid from People to People (DAPP Namibia).

DAPP Namibia, a local NGO that partners with the U.S. Embassy’s PEPFAR program and the Ministry of Health and Social Services to fight HIV, is expanding its work into six additional regions:  Kunene, Erongo, Hardap, !Karas, Omaheke, and Otjozondjupa.

The four new vehicles will enable DAPP’s health care providers to expand comprehensive community-based HIV and TB services to those new regions.

In a September 29 briefing for the media, U.S. Embassy PEPFAR Coordinator Carey Spear explained that locating the last undiscovered HIV hotspots of transmission is one of the remaining steps for Namibia to reach HIV epidemic control.

At the same media briefing, U.S. Ambassador Lisa Johnson pledged continued support to Namibia to reach HIV epidemic control: “95 percent of people with HIV know their status.  95 percent of people with HIV who know their status are on treatment.  And 92 percent of the people on treatment take their medications regularly and are virally suppressed.  Those are high numbers, but we can’t stop now.  We are working together to get them even higher so that we can proudly say:  Namibia has achieved HIV epidemic control.”

The four new vehicles will allow DAPP to provide HIV testing services to new regions, as well as other HIV care.  DAPP helps people living with HIV to stay on their medications through a range of support mechanisms, such as Community Adherence Groups.  DAPP also supports new mothers with HIV, offering them assistance with raising healthy children while managing HIV.

The value of the vehicles is approximately N$2.4 million.  The funding was provided by PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Namibia.

Before a U.S. program partner like DAPP purchases a vehicle using PEPFAR funding, strict safeguards ensure the vehicles will be properly monitored and used.  The U.S. Embassy also ensures that the vehicles are properly registered and insured, and are accounted for in an annual inventory.

Since 2005, the U.S. government has invested nearly $1.6 billion USD in HIV programming in Namibia.