THE Ministry of Health and Social Services says it has spent a total N$956 536 385 on COVID-19 since March 2020, when pandemic was first detected in Namibia.
The ministry’s Executive Director Ben Nangombe told the Windhoek Observer newspaper that the cost includes acquisition of medical supplies such as vaccines, medical equipment, recruitment of staff and infrastructure development.
The amount also includes the PCR tests for suspected COVID-19 cases and transport. Queried on whether the government overspent, Nangombe said “the government availed resources to address the COVID-19 crisis and the Ministry sourced commodities within the availed resources”.
Nangombe also explained that the ministry was granted an exemption to source vaccines from reputable suppliers, adding that there has been no recorded abuses.
“The exemption was granted to source medicines through bilateral agreements, UN Agencies and International pooled procurement bodies such as the COVAX facility and Africa Center for Disease Control (CDC),” Nangombe explained.
He also added that the government has spent approximately N$300 million on vaccines, with the exclusion of roll out activities.
According to him, more than 500 000 vaccines are currently in storage, adding that since March last year, more than 1 million vaccines have been dispatched to different regions across the country.“We have been monitoring the usage of vaccine doses in regions and we dispatched doses based on the usage. We dispatched vaccines on a weekly basis and we do follow ups on a regular basis,”Nangombe said.