WINDHOEK - Director of Social and Human Development at the SADC Secretariat Duduzile Simelane said the region has successfully reached a milestone of implementing the HIV/AIDS cross border initiative where health services were provided to mobile populations including sex workers at the border posts.
She said this during the 38th SADC summit while addressing the media at Safari Court Hotel on Saturday.
SADC will ensure that member states are implementing high impact HIV programmes and interventions as well as aligning to the regional and international frameworks, she told journalists in Windhoek.
This includes ensuring quality health service delivery, strengthening health systems as well as ensuring that there are conducive policies to facilitate acceleration in implementing HIV and AIDS programmes.
“This is to increase access to services and improve health outcomes. Services provided were HIV counselling and testing, STI screening and treatment,” she explained.
Simelane said many of the HIV vaccine and researches in the region are being pioneered by South Africa.
She also highlighted the challenges faced by people living with HIV in accessing treatment as foreigners in the region while travelling.
“We need to amplify the issues of youth, invest in upskilling in order to enhance skills that will drive the industrialisation agenda forward,” she said.
Malaria elimination efforts through the E8 secretariat based in Namibia, known fully as Elimination 8, were established by the bloc’s health ministers to advance the malaria elimination agenda.
The eight countries are eSwatini (known until recently as Swaziland), South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Angola, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
SADC is pushing for promoting technical and vocational education and training in an effort to develop skills that is needed to drive industrial development and making sure that there are skills that respond to the demands from the sectors of industry.
Simelane said the regional bloc will continue to support member states to align their national strategies and programmes to the regional frameworks to ensure harmonisation in the quest to reach the regional integration goal.
She further said that SADC will continue to promote Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and the alignment by member states to the SADC regional qualifications framework.
SADC is an organisation of 16 member states established in 1980.
he mission of SADC is to promote sustainable and equitable economic growth and socio-economic development through efficient, productive systems, deeper cooperation and integration, good governance and durable peace and security, so that, the region emerges as a competitive and effective player in international relations and the world economy.
Member States are Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, and eSwatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.