Gobabis, Namibia – Gobabis Mayor Melba Tjozongoro emphasized the need for enhanced funding for community-based organizations combating HIV/AIDS. Her statement came during the commemoration of World AIDS Day, marked annually on December 1st. This year’s theme was ‘Let communities lead’.
According to Namibian Press Agency (NAMPA), In her speech, delivered on her behalf at the event, Mayor Tjozongoro highlighted the significant contributions of organizations like Lironga Eparu and Ombetja Yehinga in the past. She pointed out that these groups became largely dormant due to the discontinuation of financial support from the government and other agencies. Tjozongoro also noted that the global outbreak of the coronavirus further strained resources, diverting them away from the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Calling for action, the mayor urged the government and stakeholders to financially support the planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of community-based organizations’ programs. She stressed the importance of government and donor agencies in fully and reliably funding community leadership roles to achieve desired outcomes in the HIV/AIDS battle.
Additionally, Omaheke Governor Pijoo Nganate, also speaking at the event, emphasized the crucial role of communities in the fight against HIV/AIDS. He advocated for community leadership in designing and delivering integrated sexual reproductive health and rights and HIV programs.
Governor Nganate appealed to communities and individuals to use all available preventative measures to control the spread of HIV. He underscored the importance of World AIDS Day in raising awareness about the severity of HIV and AIDS, providing information on effective interventions and measures for prevention, and supporting those living with the virus in communities.