• July 3rd, 2020

Editorial: People need services

The issue of service delivery is one that remains a hot potato in the public sector, especially at regional and local authority levels. 

And as Namibia gears up for by-elections in Walvis Bay Urban, Keetmanshoop, Khomasdal, Gobabis and Otjiwarongo, prospective candidates are already making lofty campaign promises and one wonders if they would really be able to live up to such assurances once the elections are over. 

It must be said that Namibia is grappling with serious service delivery challenges especially in areas of housing provision, public healthcare and proper sanitation, among many others. 

At the moment, Windhoek and many other parts countrywide are battling an outbreak of hepatitis E, which is fuelled mainly by a lack of clean water and poor sanitation. It has slowly turned into an epidemic and a crisis of some sort, considering that more than 50 lives have been lost since the outbreak started in 2017. In fact, almost 7 000 Namibians have been affected by this outbreak. 

Former health minister Bernhard Haufiku who is also championing the fight against the outbreak gave an honest assessment of the situation on the ground when he was interviewed by Namibian Sun in August this year. 

“I have said it time and again, that hepatitis E and even A are diseases of poverty and low socio-economic status, where there is a lack of clean water, and poor personal hygiene. We are basically looking at all potential and available options including considerations for a vaccine against hepatitis E, because we simply cannot allow the situation to continue as it is now,” he said.

Haufiku, who is now the special health advisor to the presidency, also recently told an International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) 25 Nairobi Summit in Nairobi, Kenya that hepatitis E was currently the leading cause of maternal mortality in Namibia. The fact remains that poor sanitation, water provision and personal hygiene are fundamental challenges that are we are faced with and need urgent intervention.  

So it is equally important that that those in power do everything possible to turn political will into action. It is a proven fact that lack of political will is usually the greatest obstacle to service delivery efforts, including improving sanitation and healthcare for the vulnerable members of our society. 

Basic sanitation and clean, running water is a human right of which even the poorest of the poor are entitled to. It is not a privilege. It is a basic human right. 

It is therefore our sincere hope that much attention, including sufficient funding, would be given to this priority area, and to act with collective humanity to tackle these types of challenges in the best interest of our nation.

Staff Reporter
2019-12-13 08:07:38 | 6 months ago

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