Government to send toiletries to Cuba

17 September 2020 | Education

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK



The health ministry has announced that parcels containing toiletries for medical students in Cuba will be sent from Namibia tomorrow.

In a statement issued yesterday, the ministry said the service provider had informed them that the shipment is scheduled to arrive in Cuba on Thursday, 24 September.

“The main challenge in executing the delivery of the cargo to Havana has been the non-availability of flights due to the suspension of commercial flights and closure of airspaces by several governments around the globe. “Moreover, demand for international cargo services has outstripped supply due to increased demand to deliver Covid-19-related supplies around the world,” the ministry said.

Shortages

These students have been stranded without toiletries since May this year and could not buy these items locally because of a nationwide shortage as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Earlier this week the executive director in the health ministry, Ben Nangombe, said it could cost the government up to N$6 million to charter a plane to transport these items to Havana. However, pressure increased from various sectors in the country, especially from the Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso), which said no amount of money should be spared to get these items to the students.

Dylan Mukoroli, the national spokesperson for Nanso, said the students were facing serious shortages and could not always find these items in Cuban shops.

One of the Cuban students also spoke to Namibian Sun about their need for basic products.

“Toothpaste, washing powder and sanitary pads are hard to find. They aren't available always available in shops and when they are available, they finish within 48 hours and you might not get a chance to get any.

“We understand Cuba is trying their outmost best, but the Namibian government can try to help us send those bags please, we need them urgently,” the student said.

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