Swapo Man Proposes 'Disclosure' of
HIV When Person is Buried
March 13, 2003
Posted to the web March 13, 2003
A TOP Swapo official yesterday proposed
that the globally respected norm of "no disclosure"
of illness should be relaxed when it comes to HIV.
In addition, the cause of death should
be revealed when a person is buried - to amplify the
seriousness of HIV-AIDS, ruling party MP Hifikepunye Pohamba
said in the National Assembly.
Pohamba was speaking during debate on
the Appropriation Bill for the 2003-2004 financial year.
At present 230 000 Namibians in the age
category 15 to 49 out of a population of 1,8 million are HIV
This translates into a prevalence rate
of 23,3 per cent, one of the five highest in the world.
Pohamba opened his contribution to the
debate by saying he fully supports an initiative to create a
fund that could help to contain the epidemic, with funding
coming from both the State and the private sector.
"I would like to propose that the
internationally respected medical norms of no disclosure of
sickness be relaxed when it comes to HIV-AIDS pandemic. That
is to say if one dies of AIDS, it should be stated in the
death certificate and mourners be informed during burial
service [that the person died from AIDS]," he said.
"Such information, if provided,
would serve as yet more evidence to the public that the
disease is indeed taking away the lives of the beloved
ones," he said.
In a related development, an opposition
MP, Linus Chata of the Congress of Democrats, castigated
Government for taking a limp-wristed approach towards fighting
"It is very sad to observe that in
the face of the HIV-AIDS pandemic no specific amount of money
is set aside to fight the scourge. Government instead chose to
start a fund for orphans with an initial capital injection of
N$250 000 (US$25 000)," he said.
"Our position is that a fund for
HIV-AIDS is the most urgent priority and the most appropriate
starting point," he said.
"An orphan fund here, and a small
HIV-AIDS intervention initiative there, is suggestive of a
piecemeal approach to a complex problem. We therefore call for
a much more comprehensive HIV-AIDS fund now".
Namibia's Budget for the current
financial year is N$12,25 billion of which N$1,66 billion was
allocated to the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
The Ministry plans to spend N$1,57
billion of its allocation on operational items, i. e. or the
purchase of medicine, salaries, transport, per diems.
Only N$86,2 million is for development