Middlemen eye N$583m from Covid vaccine procurement

17 March 2021 | Health

STAFF REPORTER

Vaccines: N$535m

Training: N$23m

Research and monitoring: N$16m

Public education: N$4.3m

Clinical evaluation: N$2.3m

Regulatory and legal: N$1.3m



WINDHOEK

The health ministry, which recently got exemption from Treasury to spend N$583 million to procure Covid-19 vaccines, says it has resorted to an open bidding process due to bureaucracy in getting the vaccine to Namibia.

Despite public outcry questioning the use of middlemen instead of approaching the manufacturers, the ministry vowed that the open international sourcing mode being explored is a fail-safe system to enable Namibia to obtain the required vaccines more speedily in case other methods continue to experience delays.

Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula, in his submission to finance minister dated 18 February, said N$535 million would be spent on procuring the vaccine, logistics and cold facilities for storage purposes.

“In line with the Covid-19 vaccine deployment plan, goods, services and physical structures are required in order to facilitate the deployment of the vaccine to the communities,” he said.

Furthermore, N$23.4 million will be spent on training, service delivery and supervision, while N$16.1 million will be channelled towards research, monitoring, evaluation and surveillance.

The health ministry has also allocated N$1.3 million to cater for regulatory and legal costs as well as N$4.3 million for public education.

Another N$2.3 million has been allocated to scientific and clinical evaluations.

Shangula said the exemption will only be used to solicit offers on an emergency basis from approved manufacturers, pooled procurement agencies and local manufacturer representatives.

He also indicated that in some cases the ministry will source quotations from suppliers through an open bidding process.

Herd immunity target

With Namibia having already secured enough vaccines to cater for 20% of the population through the COVAX facility, it still needs 40% to reach the 60% herd immunity target.

“Government has already paid an advance payment of N$26 million to COVAX and met other compliance requirements. The procurement of Covidd-19 vaccines via the COVAX facility has been plagued by delays,” the ministry lamented in a press statement issued yesterday.

The ministry also engaged vaccine manufacturers in India, Russia and the United States, as well through the Africa Medical Supply Platform to secure more doses.

“These engagements are ongoing but have proven to be painfully slow. Hence the need for exploring an additional avenue,” the statement read.

Shangula said the estimated value of the vaccine, commodities and services required cannot be determined.

Finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi granted the health ministry the exemption on 2 March.

Namibian Sun, however, understands that the finance ministry is not impressed with their health counterparts’ decision to call for quotes from local agents instead of procuring vaccines directly from manufacturers.

Official sources have indicated that the two ministries are scheduled to meet in the coming days to discuss the matter.

Similar News

 

US government donates equipment for Covid-19 testing

15 hours ago | Health

NAMPAWINDHOEKThe United States government has donated laboratory equipment to the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) to support the ministry of health and social services in...

Covid-19 hits Rehoboth school hard

15 hours ago | Health

JEMIMA BEUKESThe Rehoboth High School (RHS) hostel, where more than 62 learners are quarantined, has reportedly turned into a breeding ground for Covid-19 due to...

Mpora villagers still without ambulance

1 day - 14 April 2021 | Health

Kenya Kambowe RUNDUThe health ministry has not lived up to its promise to allocate an ambulance to...

Govt splashes millions on isolation opulence

2 days ago - 13 April 2021 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKGovernment has spent N$165 million to accommodate Covid-19 patients at guest...

New 'triple pill' could eliminate high blood pressure

2 days ago - 13 April 2021 | Health

In a recent clinical trial led by researchers from the George Institute for Global Health — with branches in the United Kingdom, Australia, and India...

Covid-19: Namibia records five new deaths

3 days ago - 12 April 2021 | Health

NAMPA WINDHOEKHealth minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula on Saturday announced that the country recorded 130 new Covid-19 positive cases and five deaths....

Only 2 300 vaccinated against Covid so far

6 days ago - 09 April 2021 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKAfter a slow start, the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines has gradually accelerated, with over 2 300 people vaccinated in just...

N$53m Rundu maternity ward closed

1 week ago - 08 April 2021 | Health

Kenya Kambowe RUNDU Just four months after health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula inaugurated...

Living with endometriosis: A warrior’s story

1 week ago - 08 April 2021 | Health

TUYEIMO HAIDULA ONGWEDIVALea Nampala lived with chronic pain for years before being diagnosed with...

Sexual and reproductive rights are rights – Gawanas

1 week ago - 08 April 2021 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKAdvocate Bience Gawanas, former special advisor on Africa for the United...

Latest News

Credit uptake unresponsive to low...

15 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUDespite the repo rate being at a historical low of 3.75% to making borrowing attractive, credit uptake by businesses and households remain weak.Private sector...

GIPF increases pension benefits by...

15 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUThe Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) announced a 3% pension benefit increase, effective 01 April 2021 for all GIPF pensioners.In the current volatile economic...

Clearing agents fail Namra test

15 hours ago | Economics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKLess than 20% of the clearing agents who sat for the mandatory competency test to obtain certification passed the test.There are currently 343 active...

Villagers retaliate by eating locusts

15 hours ago | Agriculture

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOSHAKATIThe arrival of massive swarms of locusts in northern Namibia, especially in the Kavango West and East, Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions, has been a...

NamRa

15 hours ago | Justice

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKRape accused healthcare worker Dennis Noa will be moved to the Seeis police holding cells outside Windhoek, Magistrate Johannes Shuuveni ordered yesterday at the...

Otjiwarongo Municipality's budget approved

15 hours ago | Economics

The Otjiwarongo Municipality’s local authority councillors on Tuesday approved the municipality’s 2021/22 capital and expenditure budget of more than N$131 million during a special council...

Our conflict diamonds

15 hours ago | Opinion

Our diamonds have become conflict diamonds. Conflict in the local definition which implies the scramble to enrich well-connected people.The tender to valuate Namdia diamonds was...

Child-slapping boy in Outapi court...

15 hours ago | Crime

TUNOHOLE MUNGOBAONGWEDIVAOmusati police have confirmed the arrest of a 17-year-old who was seen in a video clip assaulting a five-year-old girl.The video has gone viral...

Vivo Energy Namibia rewards top...

15 hours ago | Transport

Staff reporter Vivo Energy Namibia, the marketer and distributor of Shell branded petroleum and lubricant products in Namibia, recognised and rewarded top performing retailers...

Load More