Stories

Linking Mothers and Couples to HIV Testing and Care Shortly after the birth of her second child, Manuela dos Santos learned that she was HIV positive. Fearing how her family and friends might react to her diagnosis, she kept her status a secret for weeks. Fortunately, her child was born HIV negative, but Manuela’s health quickly deteriorated. At just 25 years old, she was losing weight, sleep, and the ability to care for her newborn child.

 {Photo credit: Stanley Stephanus for SIAPS Namibia}Pehovelo Ndahangoudja (left), a registered nurse documents feedback on CBART from Know your Status CASG member Julia Sheepo (2nd from right) and leader Marian Ndahafo Lilonga (right) at Ndamono clinic, Onandjokwe district.Photo credit: Stanley Stephanus for SIAPS Namibia

Health leaders in Namibia had a geographic challenge in delivering antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. The country is among the most affected by the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Southern Africa, with an estimated HIV prevalence among adults of 16.9% as of 2014. Yet, in a vast country in which two-thirds of the people live in sparsely settled rural sites, how could these leaders make sure essential ARV treatment is accessible to those in need?

On May 21, during the 71st World Health Assembly, member states adopted a new digital health resolution. It urges member states to better utilize digital technologies as a means of promoting equitable, affordable universal health coverage (UHC), including reaching vulnerable populations. The resolution also calls on members to analyze the implications of digital health to achieve health related sustainable development goals.

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