Johannesburg, South Africa (ADV) – The United States Agency for International Development (UNISAID) has donated N$240 million with a view to reduce new HIV infections amongst young women and adolescent girls in Namibia, African Daily Voice has learnt.
According to The Namibian, USAID’s Country Representative, Randy Kolstad, the Determination, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe (DREAMS), provides solutions that go beyond traditional health services to address risk factors including dropping out of school, social isolation, economic disadvantage and gender-based violence (GBV).
It is set to provide comprehensive solutions aimed at empowering young women from the Oshikoto, Khomas and Zambezi regions to remain HIV-free and achieve their full potential.
“DREAMS cannot remove all the challenges from adolescent girls and young women’s paths. However, it can give them tools to overcome them,” said Kolstad in a speech.
“By September this year, the programme is expected to reach 15 000 adolescent girls and young women with HIV and GBV prevention education packages, at both school and community level.”
A total of 32 schools in the Oshikoto region are expected to benefit from this programme. It is also expected to reach out to 10 000 orphans and vulnerable girls and women between ages 10 and 24 with services including food security, psychological care, family support, legal and child protection.
DREAMS programme is funded by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Pepfar) through USAID. 20 facilitators have been trained to be able to provide economic strengthening skills among the target groups.
The programme also provides services including counselling on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for adolescent girls and young women at risk of HIV infection.