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Top health officials unaware of the need for medical resources

Health minister Dr. Kalumbi Shangula and his executive director Ben Nangombe were surprised by Namibia’s sudden need for medicine and medical equipment which was used by Fisheries Minister Dr Albert Kawana as a reason to sell fishing quotes.

The government is in the process of auctioning its objective fish quota to the highest bidder because it needs financial resources on an emergency basis to mitigate the effects of Covid-19.

Kawana said this in a letter dated 7 August and addressed to Marti Amukwa, the chairperson of the Confederation of Namibian Fishing Associations.

Dr Shangula said he had no knowledge that there were any plans to sell fish quotas to cater to the dire need for medicine and medical equipment for Namibia.

“This is news to me,” Dr Shangula said.

The Health Minister did not want to comment on the issue of medicine

“I have no knowledge of the letter you are referring to and therefore I cannot comment,” Dr Kalumbi responded to Eagle FM when asked about Namibia’s dire need.

Echoing the same words, Nangombe said the health ministry is within its N$ 750 million budget and has not exhausted it.

“Government allocated N$ 750 million for COVID-19 … we have used part of it and we still have some. We are using the money as we go but we are still within our budget,” Nangombe told Eagle FM on Sunday.

Nangombe did however say as the cases increased in the country might create a need for more medical resources.

“We are still within our budget but that does not mean the increase in cases we do not need more resources,” Nangombe said.

Julia Heita

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