Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi (right) with the visiting UNAIDS Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Dr. Catherine Sozi
The visiting UNAIDS Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Dr. Catherine Sozi paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Peter Katjavivi this morning. The Director will also participate in the SADC Ministers of Health meeting in Windhoek.
Hon. Katjavivi was happy with the visit noting that Parliament needs to constantly review its legislative framework and interrogate issues of health through its oversight function. He says strategic stakeholders such as UNAIDS are imperative in this process. The Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Family Affairs and Social Development is responsible for the oversight function related to health at the National Assembly.
Dr. Sozi on her part noted that even though the region has recorded successes with regard to the reduction of HIV infections, a lot still needs to be done. She implored parliamentarians to continue to be champions of the cause, adding that UNAIDS was committed to supporting the work of Parliament in achieving quality health care.
She however noted that lack of a coordinated approach in implementing strategies continues to be a challenge.
The Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) Acting Secretary General, Boemo Sekgoma who formed part of the meeting and who was gratified by UNAIDS support, noted that her organization has worked closely with the Parliament of Namibia on various social and health related matters. Recently, the SADC PF partnered with the National Assembly through its health standing committee on a sexual reproductive health rights and HIV and AIDS project. Even though the project ended this year, Sekgoma was hopeful that the commitment from Members of Parliament would continue.