By: Hertha Ekandjo
The health ministry says it appreciates and has thanked the nearly 50,000 Namibia Defense Force (NDF) hopefuls who turned up to get their Covid-19 vaccinations in July.
A Covid-19 vaccination was a requirement for those who were applying for the 1,500 posts for cadets in the force.
This comes as the NDF has announced that it will, from Tuesday, whittle down the list of 3,000 shortlisted candidates who were released in the media last week to only 1,500 successful applicants who will go for training in October.
According to the health ministry’s latest statistics, 556,064 have thus far received the first dose of the vaccine. On 5 July, that figure stood at 475,621, the difference being 80,443.
Health ministry’s executive director Ben Nangombe told The Villager that they welcomed the vast number that took the “right” step into getting vaccinated after getting a push from NDF recruitments.
“Each and every person who turned up for vaccination, it’s a welcomed development. It just shows that even reluctant people turned up to get vaccinated because they needed a job,” he said.
Thousands of NDF applicants rushed to the vaccination centres across the country, boosting the ministry’s numbers.
Nangombe added that people got vaccinated, and nothing happened to them, and he says no adverse effects have been reported so far following the vaccinations.
“This shows you that they have obtained faith and affection that other people should go out and get vaccinated,” said Nangombe.
The ED added that they wanted more people to get vaccinated so that they are protected from severe illness before a new variant of Covid-19.
Out of Approximately 49 000 applicants, only 3,000 were shortlisted as cadets into NDF.
This was revealed by NDF’s chairperson of the recruitment committee, Fillimon Shafashike.
“3,000 applicants have been shortlisted, and out of this number, during the process that is starting tomorrow, only 1500 will be selected for training which will begin in October,” he said.
According to Shafashike, 4 per cent of the shortlisted candidates belonged to the marginalised group.
Furthermore, he said that NDF recruitment was done fairly, there was no discrimination when it came to recruitment, and no one was left out intentionally.
“Those who were considered, it was based on the requirements,” he noted.
This, however, comes as on Friday, the Otjiwarongo marginalised group held a peaceful demonstration condemning what they alleged was an unfair way of recruiting done by NDF.
The group alleged that no one from their community was selected and that NDF did wrong by not shortlisting anyone from their group.
“We are very disappointed by NDF. Why did they not at least take one from our box? They placed our applications in a separate box, and no one was. But the Ovaherero and Ovambo people are always recruited,” they said.
Last month it was reported that recruitment requirements by the Namibia defence force had escalated the issue of Covid-19 vaccination card forgery, leading to the suspect being caught red-handed.
In July, the defence and veteran affairs ministry issued a vacancy for cadets in which Covid-19 vaccination cards should accompany application forms.
During that time, the health executive director Ben Nangombe said some individuals were forging and printing their vaccination cards, signing them and issuing them to members of the public for sale.
In December 2021, Namibia had to destroy more than 150,000 doses of expired Covid-19 vaccines due to the slow response to the government’s vaccination programme.
During that time, President Hage Geingob criticised Namibians who were sceptical of his government’s vaccination drive, saying they were risking the lives of others by refusing to receive the life-saving jabs offered free of charge countrywide.
At that time, only 326 000 Namibians, 12,8 per cent, were fully vaccinated.
For the past week, 11-17 August 2022, Namibia recorded 56 positive cases out of 1 688 tests, representing a 3.3 per cent positivity ratio.
According to the health ministry, 54 were new cases, and two were reinfections.
“The sex distribution is 31 females, of which 30 are new cases and 25 males, of which 24 were new cases. The age ranges from one month to 101 years of age.
The Khomas regional governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua has called on all NDF shortlisted candidates for the Khomas region to report themselves at the Independence on Tuesday, 23 August at 07H00.