Namibia scrambles for vaccines

29 March 2021 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES

Windhoek

Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula is in Switzerland where he has met with director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and with the Covax facility coordinators to discuss the global effects of Covid-19, vaccines and capacity building.

This visit comes at a desperate time for Namibia, which has not yet received a single dose of vaccine through the Covax facility despite being one of the first countries on the continent to have paid their contribution.

Dr Ghebreyesus has in the meantime called on countries with Covid-19 vaccine doses that are approved by the WHO for emergency use to donate as many doses as they can. He also urged manufacturers to help ensure these countries can rapidly donate those doses.

“Getting all countries started with Covid-19 vaccination by day 100 is a solvable problem. Covax needs 10 million doses immediately as an urgent stop-gap measure so the remaining 20 countries can start vaccinating their health workers and older people,” he tweeted.

Kalumbi confirmed his visit to Switzerland but said he could not talk about it and would issue a statement once he returned to Namibia this week.

“As the chairman of the Programme Coordinating Board of UNAIDS, I went to conduct the Special Session from 24 to 25 March 2021. I also had a meeting with the director-general of WHO as well as the Covax Facility. Details will be in the press statement,” he said.

Namibia launched its national vaccination plan last week, but so far it has relied on donations made by the Chinese and Indian governments.

The Chinese-manufactured Sinopharm is not yet approved for emergency listing by the WHO, but the WHO office in Namibia confirmed that its assessment of Sinopharm and Sinovac was at an advanced stage.





This was confirmed by the WHO representative to Namibia, Dr Charles Sagoe-Moses.

“Currently the process of EUL approval for Sinopharm vaccine is ongoing and we expect the outcome anytime soon. WHO remains committed to supporting the government in its Covid vaccination efforts and will continue to assist in acquiring the vaccines through the Covax facility,” he said.

Meanwhile, the health ministry issued a statement over the weekend regarding the use of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine and the demographics to be excluded.

Those excluded are people below 18 years, pregnant women, those with immune suppressed conditions such as HIV/Aids, as well as people who suffer from severe allergies which require hospitalisation.

Those with uncontrolled epilepsy and uncontrolled chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart or kidney failure are also excluded.

[email protected]

Similar News

 

UN highlights midwife shortage

7 hours ago | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKA recent United Nations (UN) report has raised alarm over a...

Shangula pours cold water over Covishield fears

1 day - 05 May 2021 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKHealth minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula has allayed fears that the Covishield...

Did you know?

3 days ago - 03 May 2021 | Health

Death among children and adolescentsAccidents (unintentional injuries) are, by far, the leading cause of death among children and teens.Health tipRegular hand washing helps prevent the...

Children: improving survival and well-being

3 days ago - 03 May 2021 | Health

Children aged 1 to 11 months accounted for 1.5 million of these deaths while children aged 1 to 4 years accounted for 1.3 million deaths....

Connected children

3 days ago - 03 May 2021 | Health

*Half of ten-year-olds now own their own smartphone.*Use of smart speakers among children aged 5-15 has doubled.*More children watch video-on-demand (VoD) than watch live broadcast...

Costly infertility treatment bankrupts families – Geingos

1 week ago - 29 April 2021 | Health

NAMPA WINDHOEKThe lack of infertility treatment at public hospitals makes it costly for many families and often bankrupts...

Covid-19 vaccination roll-out accelerates

1 week ago - 29 April 2021 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKSince the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccination plan, Cabinet members have lined...

Health ministry earmarks N$3 billion for salaries

1 week ago - 27 April 2021 | Health

NAMPAWINDHOEKThe ministry of health and social services will spend N$3 267 468 000 on salaries during the 2021/2022 financial year.This is according to minister of...

Migraine linked to increased risk of high blood pressure...

1 week ago - 27 April 2021 | Health

Migraine is a debilitating disorder, often resulting in multiple severe headaches a month, and typically experienced more often by women than men. This according to...

Ambulance drivers party like it’s 2019

1 week ago - 26 April 2021 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKA team of ministry of health ambulance drivers, responsible for transporting confirmed and suspected Covid-19 cases, allegedly held a birthday party at a state-sanctioned...

Latest News

N$278m payment for Air Namibia...

7 hours ago | Transport

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKGovernment has paid part of N$278 million reserved for ex-gratia payments to...

Kora exposing political rot

7 hours ago | Opinion

The ongoing Kora trial is not just a civil matter between two parties contesting contractual interpretations and millions of dollars lost.Preliminary evidence points to a...

No corruption at fisheries –...

7 hours ago | Ministries

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKNew fisheries minister Derek Klazen says the ministry is not plagued with corruption, contrary to public opinion.He made the comment...

UN highlights midwife shortage

7 hours ago | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKA recent United Nations (UN) report has raised alarm over a...

Namibia-Angola border should be opened...

7 hours ago | International

NAMPAWINDHOEKThe continued closure of the Namibia-Angola border due to measures put in place to combat Covid-19 obstructs the legal free movement of people and goods...

Swapo unity in Kavango East...

7 hours ago | Politics

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUWhile Swapo Kavango East regional coordinator Ottilie Shinduvi says all is well, some members have described the party's regional arm as a sinking ship.And...

Community hostels must shape up

7 hours ago | Education

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUThe days are numbered for community hostels which misappropriate state funds and fail to produce audited financial reports.The education ministry has vowed not to...

Nakathila's toughest test draws near

7 hours ago | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMIWINDHOEKWhether Jeremiah 'Low-Key' Nakathila is the king of the super featherweight division will be determined in the next couple of months with interesting competition...

Coe applauds organisers

7 hours ago | Sports

NAMPA/REUTERSWorld Athletics chief Sebastian Coe on Wednesday gave Tokyo Olympic organisers high marks for a marathon test event they staged in Sapporo, saying they were...

Load More