This is the slogan for the malaria campaign launched by the Ministry of Health and Social Services and supported by DAPP Namibia Community Health Workers working in the northern regions where malaria is a threat
The DAPP Malaria programme is implemented in the Zambezi, Kavango East, Kavango West, Ohangwena, and Omusati regions with support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) through the MoHSS. The programme works with Community Health workers to provide people in malaria prone areas with awareness, prevention, test and treat, and surveillance services.
In 2021, the DAPP Malaria programme implemented test and treat for malaria in communities as well as malaria information campaigning. 33,363 people were reached with health education in the communities, 2,631 people received community-level testing for Malaria, and 1,307 community outreach events were conducted.
“My name is Metirde, I am a Community Health Worker in the DAPP Malaria Programme in the Ohangwena region:
I am attached to the Epinga clinic in Eenhana district. Firstly, us Community Health Workers were trained in the theory and testing for malaria in a training session. Thereafter we were practicing testing for malaria during three months at the clinics.
One day after finishing my three months practice at the clinic I visited a homestead, where I found a childsick in bed. Her temperature was high and since that could be a sign of malaria, I offered the mother that I could test the child. The child tested positive for malaria and therefore I reported the situation to the nurse in charge at the clinic right away.
The nurse in charge was worried that it could be serious and she called an ambulance to pick up the child and transfer her to the Eenhana Hospital. It was indeed serious and complicated malaria. The child spent two weeks in hospital under good care and medication.
I tested the other members of the household but fortunately none of them had malaria. After two weeks the child had recovered and came home again.
I have to admit that I was a bit nervous if I had interpreted the result correctly because it was my first time to find a alaria positive person in the community. But I was encouraged when the mother of the child came to appreciate my counselling skills and talked with her, so she managed to keep calm, while also reporting to the nurse in charge for advice, because I could see that the child was in a bad condition.
From that day I enjoyed my work more, not even fearing of testing a person and finding him or her malaria positive. I am looking forward to be part of getting to zero local cases of malaria and eliminatemalaria from Namibia.”
“I am thankful to my TCE Field Officer for bringing the ARV Treatment medication to me in my home. I am a 62 years old man and I have some problems with my legs. I save transport money for me and my supporter and it helps me take the medication without fail.”
The TCE program helps to support HIV treatment adherence with home-based ART delivery to at-risk HIV positive people. The program also supports multi-month ART dispensing (MMD) to members of Community-based ART Groups (CAGs), so they do not have to go to the health facility
Hilya Matthew (not her real name) is 42 years old. She was in a relationship with her boyfriend for many years. At that time HIV infections were very common. She responded to the call to get tested and know your HIV status in 2008. Here is her story;
Together with my partner, I decided to go and get tested at the Ongwediva Health Centre. Both of us tested HIV positive and we started treatment soon thereafter. Unfortunately, my partner did not survive. He passed on shortly after we started treatment.
I came to learn about the TCE Project in my area and invited Moses, the TCE Field Officer, to visit my house. I opened up about my HIV status to him and Moses gave me a series of counselling sessions that really helped me to be comfortable with my status. At the end of the year 2009 I met a new boyfriend and we now have two boys aged 8 and 4 years. Thankfully, both of them were born HIV negative.
Since I have to take the ARV treatment for the life I am now a member of the Community Adherence Group (CAG). In the CAG we contribute transport money so that one member goes to collect ARV medication at the Health Centre for all of us. It is good that we take turns to go to the Health Centre, which saves us money and time. I use the time to do other chores at home and concentrate on my business.
Since my diagnosis in 2008, I have achieved a number of things that I am proud of. I have managed to build my house through savings and money I generated from my business. I am living a normal and healthy life. I am no longer sick with a serious condition.
The TCE Field Officers’ visit and support to the CAG mean a lot to us. The TCE Field Officers are closer to us than our own neighbours. The frequent calls to check up on us are very comforting.
I would like to thank the TCE Field Officers for their dedication and hard work. TCE should continue to assist and extend their services to other communities as their services are needed everywhere. You can live a long and healthy life if you adhere to your treatment. I have never fallen sick since I started treatment.