President George W. Bush and Laura Bush visited Namibia and Botswana during World Health Worker Week to pay tribute to the success of the fight against HIV/AIDS.
This week President George W. Bush and Laura Bush visited the countries of Botswana and Namibia to praise the incredible work that has been done to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS under Bush's signature program PEPFAR.
During their visit to Namibia, the two met with 30 beneficiaries of a program involving TCE workers and aimed at preventing HIV positive pregnant mothers from infecting their babies (PMTCT) at a hospital in Windhoek. The mothers thanked the Bushes, expressing their joy of having given birth to healthy babies, free of HIV, despite carrying the virus themselves.
President Bush told the group assembled at the hospital that the American people will be happy to hear that this program is working. He further said that the American people care about people in Africa. He explained that one of the ways to control further infections is ensuring that young people are tested for HIV on the continent.
"I hope our government when they analyze what works around the world will understand that PEPFAR has saved over 11 million lives."
—President George W. Bush speaking in Botswana April 4, 2017, quoted in DailyMail.com
With funding from PEPFAR / CDC-Namibia, TCE was launched in Namibia in 2005 in the Oshana and Omusati regions and part of Ohangwena and Oshikoto. The program later expanded to cover the remaining constituencies in Ohangwena and Oshikoto as well as Kavango, Zambezi and part of Khomas regions. The project works in line with the UN's 90-90-90 strategy, a targeted approach aimed at finding and testing individuals who do not yet know their HIV status and facilitating treatment for those who test positive.
In addition to CDC-Namibia, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria (GFATM) has funded the expansion of TCE in Namibia. TCE carries out systematic mobilization of at-risk communities in which locally recruited TCE Field Officers (FOs) are employed to provide HIV and TB counseling, screening, and testing for at-risk and priority populations, ensuring linkages to ART treatment, comprehensive follow-up services, and community-care and support. Through Index Case Testing, TCE works in close collaboration with each established Health Facility (HF) and communities to target high-risk individuals who are unaware of their status and can infect others unknowingly.
PEPFAR Saving Lives
TCE by the Numbers
Since the inception of the TCE program in Namibia:
- Over 1.5 million people have been reached by a TCE Field Officer with individual HIV counselling and information.
- More than 100,000 have been mobilized to obtain an HIV test.
- 57 million condoms have been distributed.
- 26,000 women were counselled on PMTCT and linked to health facilities to join the national program.
- 100,000 people were recruited and trained as Community Volunteers (also known as TCE Passionates).
About the Partners
CDC-Namibia has assisted the Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) since 2002 to develop and implement an integrated comprehensive package of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment programs.
CDC-Namibia provides targeted technical assistance to build the capacity of Namibia’s healthcare workforce to lead and manage its HIV program more effectively. CDC’s work has strengthened national efforts to prevent the sexual and biomedical transmission of HIV and significantly expanded care and treatment services, including the prevention of mother-to-child transmission.
DAPP Namibia is one of the implementing agencies working with CDC and MoHSS to secure that communities are mobilized and unidentified HIV+ people are identified, tested, linked to ART treatment and followed up to ensure adherence.
In line with PEPFAR’s mission, the overall aim of all support to MoHSS is to ensure that Namibia soon sees an AIDS-Free generation as defined in the Namibia’s National Strategic Framework for HIV and AIDS Response.