Aids Organisation Struggling to Stay Afloat

THE Namibian Network of AIDS Service Organisations (Nanaso) has expressed concern over the increasing lack of funding available to continue running HIV-AIDS programmes in the country.

Nanaso executive director Sandie Tjaronda told The Namibian that the organisation was looking for ways to raise funds after the donors’ withdrawal.

He said depending on the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria alone was not enough.

Although the organisation received N$300 million from the Fund last year to distribute among AIDS service organisations, Tjaronda said they needs at least N$40 million for programmes alone.

“Our brothers and sisters living with HIV feel isolated and neglected as they are left with no nutritional support to supplement their treatment programme,” he said.

Tjaronda added that many have dropped their life-saving medicine due to hunger and face a future of resistance and a further compromised immune system.

“The classification of Namibia as an upper middle income country has had massive impact cascading to household levels. Many people have lost their jobs due to retrenchment and have neither a future nor purpose to pursue.

“Essential services for voluntary counselling and testing for HIV have been lost in some instances,” he said.

Tjaronda also said the organisation will host a fundraising gala dinner on 26 March, which has already sold 80% of the space.

The organisation has also come up with a car competition as part of its 22 year anniversary celebration through Auas Motors.

Tjaronda also said Nanaso has introduced a food bank initiative, which provides people living with HIV, orphans and vulnerable children with nutritional meals.

“The aforesaid projects are critical to expand the resource base of the organisation and ensure long term sustainability of programmes. Although they are labour intensive and will take time to yield results, they are seen to be the only way, at least for now to help increase the chances of survival for Nanaso and its network,” Tjaronda pointed out.

One of the networks benefitting from Nanaso, called Open Your Eyes, a small Windhoek-based organisation that offers care and support to HIV infected people and vulnerable children, says it is a challenge for them to continue operating without sufficient funds.

“Most of the people that benefit from our organisation are vulnerable and unemployed individuals. The fact that Nanaso currently does not have funds affects our operations tremendously since we cannot provide this essential service to the community, it is crippling” said Aletta Kaposando from the Open Your Eyes organisation.

Source : The Namibian