Govt overspent on Covid-19 budget

25 February 2021 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK

The health ministry has exceeded its N$727 million Covid-19 response budget by about N$50 million, the ministry’s executive director Ben Nangombe confirmed yesterday.

Nangombe said they could justify the expenditure.

According to him, they had to add research to the national response plan which included monitoring, risk communication and community engagement.

It also included surveillance, rapid response teams, case management, infection prevention and control logistics and investigations at points of entry, national laboratories and operations and logistics.

“What has happened during the implementation of this budget, we had to do internal adjustments. For example, we have overspent on quarantine and there were other areas where did not spent so much. So, we had to move funds around. Of this money, we have gone beyond.”

Vaccine budget

The government has budgeted N$583 million for the Covid-19 vaccination programme, of which N$484.8 million will be spent on the actual procurement of the vaccines, health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula confirmed yesterday.

The arrival date of the Covid-19 vaccines under the Covax facility has been postponed once again, to sometime in March.

Meanwhile, China will donate 100 000 doses of its Sinopharm vaccine and India will donate 30 000 doses of vaccine from the Serum Institute of India.

“The Namibia Medicine Regulatory Council (NMRC) published guidelines for approval of vaccines. The NMRC obtained data from WHO, manufacturers and some Stringent Regulatory Authorities (SRAs) for use in approving vaccines for Namibia. For vaccine approval, it is required that manufacturers provide full dossiers of their products to the NMRC as required by the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act of 2003,” said Shangula.

Nangombe said the ministry had submitted its accountability report to the auditor-general’ office before making it public.

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