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“It was a busy year with many opportunities”.
Looking at 2019, WBCG Wellness Service Project Manager, Mr. Edward Shivute said the goal for the year was clear: to become a sustainable best execution wellness service for the future. Looking forward to 2020, the team look forward to opening new roadside clinics.
“When a new relevant project presented itself, the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) investigated and applied for it,” Mr. Shivute said.
The Wellness Service had a number of triumphs over the year, which saw significant growth for the service. Looking at 2019, WBCG Wellness Service Project Manager, Mr. Edward Shivute said the goal for the year was clear: to become a sustainable best execution wellness service for the future. Looking forward to 2020, the team look forward to opening new roadside clinics.
The project’s testing targets for 2019, saw a weighty increase in the number of targeted people tested. For the Global Fund project specifically, the number of people tested increased by between 40 to 50 percent from the previous year. 14 000 adolescent girls were to be tested over a period of three years. The Wellness team tested 11 000 in the four identified regions, with 11 months left to test the remaining 4 000 adolescent girls. “The project ends December 2020 and we are hoping for it to be renewed”, adds the Project Manager.
Continuing the theme of sustainability, the wellness service introduced the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and the Index Partner Testing system. PrEP is a new safer HIV prevention method for HIV-negative people who feel they might be at risk of getting HIV. Index Partner Testing is a system that sees newly diagnosed HIV-positive individuals list all their sexual or injecting drug partners from within the past year as well as their children. The listed partners and children are contacted, informed that they have been exposed to HIV, and offered voluntary HIV testing services (HTS). This enables the team to allocate their resources effectively and efficiently.
The WBCG Wellness project operates mobile wellness clinics with the main focus on providing high quality, evidence based and fast on-site bio-metric wellness screening services for employees within various institutions within the private and public sectors.
The employee wellness programme had great support from Nampower and Namdeb, who ran big campaigns over an extended period of time. Smaller campaigns with equally high impact were run with Pluczenic and Trau Bros Diamond Companies and Cross Roads, Nampost, TransNamib, F.P. Du Toit / Wesbank and D&M Rail in the transport sector.
Through it’s roadside wellness clinics, established in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) and industry partners, HIV/AIDS and other primary health care related services are provided to mobile populations within the transport sector.
Looking forward to 2020, the team look forward to opening new roadside clinics. “We are consistently looking for opportunities to expand our network of roadside wellness clinics across the country”, said Mr. Shivute. The service last year applied and qualified for donor funding from the Family Health International (FHI), which is funded by USAID; to establish two new wellness clinics in Gobabis and Otjiwarongo. This means that the project now services all but one of the Walvis Bay corridors.
The project Manager explains that the new developments warrant the recruitment of additional staff. “These new resources enables us to increase our reach and boosts the number of people that can be tested,” says Mr. Shivute.
In addition to setting up the new clinics, the department has a number of other significant projects coming up, which include the implementation and coordination of the wellness clinics in Namakunde, Angola and in Sesheke, Zambia. The clinics, set up a few years ago, are currently operated by the respective countries’ ministries of health. Following the WBCG’s application to the SADC secretariat for funding, approval was granted by the minister’s council of health to realise this project. The expected start date is mid 2020.
The Wellness Service continues its upward trajectory. There are many other projects in the pipeline that should, once approved, commence in the coming year. According to Mr. Shivute, it is the small things that matter most. “While we work to maintain our strategic relationships with our development partners, we pride ourselves on the fact that through our positive attitude and goal driven performance, we are able to retain our clients, our market share and thus be able to sustain our programmes.”