Johnson motivates Community Adherence Groups

The U.S. Ambassador to Namibia, Lisa Johnson says over 3 200 people in eight health districts now receive their HIV medication through Tonata's 322 Community Adherence Groups (CAG).

Johnson made these remarks on the occasion of the celebration of achievement of the community adherence groups at Ondjongolume village in the Omusati Region's Otamanzi Constituency on Thursday.

If it were not for the CAG, many of those people would face difficulties in obtaining their medication and staying on treatment, stated the U.S. diplomat.

She described CAG as a real community achievement and lives saving. Johnson went on to say the patients are now able to get HIV medication in their respective villages, which saving them previous time and money.

Through these groups, the work of staying healthy and on treatment becomes a shared responsibility, she narrated.

According to her, CAG is a simple and effective community-based model, whereby a locally organised groups of approximately a dozen stable patients select one or two of their members to go to the local health facility and collect HIV medication for everyone in their group.

These group members, Johnson said, then return home and pass out the medications to the other members of the group.

President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) funds CAG activities in collaboration with Tonata for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support.

You are leaders in this programme, and I would like to encourage other Namibians to take up the opportunity made possible through these PEPFAR-funded activities to organise themselves and contact Tonata or their nearest health facility to see if they can join this programme, said Johnson.

Executive Director for the Ministry of Health and Social Service Ben Nangombe, in a speech delivered on his behalf, stated that USAID through Tonata has managed to establish 322 CAGs with 3 288 members in districts like Oshikuku, Engela, Onandjokwe, Omuthiya, Tsumeb, Grootfontein, Andara and Nyangana.

Our responsibilities as a ministry is to make sure that Antiretroviral (ARV) services are accessible and available at all time, said Nangombe.

To mitigate the impact of the pandemic, the MoHSS has revised and updated National Guidelines for ARV therapy in 2016, whereby community-based ART delivery strategies for stable patients on ART was adapted as a key to meet the 90-90-90 targets.

Source: Namibia Press Agency