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Located in southern Africa, Namibia is a one of Africa’s youngest states, gaining independence in 1990. Namibia is bordered by South Africa, Zambia, Angola and Botswana. A multi-party democracy was established after independence, and an economy based on mining, agriculture and tourism became the primary economy of Namibia. Because large swaths of the country are covered by the Namib desert, the country is one of the least populated countries in the world. Namibia’s life expectancy is 67 years with AIDS as the leading cause of death, claiming 3,600 deaths in the WHO’s latest numbers.

Tuberculosis in the country

Out of a total population of 2.5 million, 780 people die annually of Tuberculosis as well as 880 dying of a combination of HIV and TB. The TB mortality rate has had only a minor decrease over the last decade, although incidence has been decreasing gradually.

KNCV Activities in the country

In 2015, in four clinics with the highest TB and HIV prevalence KNCV installed prefab containers for TB treatment support and outdoor booths for sputum collection, to reduce the chance of TB patients infecting others whilst waiting to see a doctor.

Namibia is a country where the Challenge TB program is active. Challenge TB is USAID’s flagship global mechanism for implementing USAID’s TB Strategy and is led by KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, who also led USAID’s previous TB Control projects TB CARE I, TB CAP and TBCTA.

2,721 people living with HIV do not have to travel to the hospital as they can now get their anti-retroviral therapy closer to home at TB DOT points

In Namibia, we strive to integrate TB and HIV services for optimal patient-centered care. In 2016, we conducted joint trainings for 580 healthcare workers and 179 field promoters in various technical areas. Joint trainings strengthen the provision of integrated services for TB and HIV, so this model is now promoted in all assisted facilities. We did two assessments that showed that over 85% of all facilities now provide some form of integrated TB and HIV services. Through these assessments, we will be able to further integrate services, and to prioritize which sites need our support.

580 healthcare workers and 179 field promoters were jointly trained to provide integrated TB/HIV services

Another example of integration of TB and HIV services is to use containers that were put in place for TB treatment, also as facilities for preventive therapy for people living with HIV. We piloted this approach in the Engela district, where TB treatment containers were placed under the TB CARE I project. In 2016, 2,721 people living with HIV, who originally had to travel to the hospital to receive the needed anti-retroviral therapy, can now obtain it closer to home at the TB treatment points.