Born HIV Free - The Global Fund in Namibia
One in four women who go to Dr. Nafthali Hamata's antenatal clinic in the north of Namibia are HIV positive. Thanks to the program subsidized by the Global Fund, the necessary treatment can be given to prevent the virus being transmitted from mother to child.
The success rate at the clinic is 95%. Before the prevention program was put in place, one in three children were born with the virus. Pregnant women come travel huge distances to receive the treatment and they go back home healthier, with a healthy child. Such sucess has a knock-on effect - neighbours and family see the effect of the treatment and want to try it as well.
“They go back home and it seems this is helping the population to reduce the stigma,” explains Dr Hamata. “Even [once-reluctant] men are now accepting [antiretroviral] treatment.”
Thanks to the Global Fund's assistance, Namibia provides the antiretroviral drugs for free and it is one of the few African countries where they are available to everybody who needs them. Analysis and treatment are provided in two thirds of antenatal clinics, and the transmission rate has been considerably reduced.