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Pre-Christmas vaccination vital…traditional leaders urged to take charge

2022-09-08  Paheja Siririka

Pre-Christmas vaccination vital…traditional leaders urged to take charge

Namibia achieved a national vaccine uptake of only 30.9%, compared to the global and national target of 70% herd immunity while the national target is 1 779 271 with the current population inoculated standing at 550 317.

These were the sentiments shared by health deputy minister Utjiua Muinjangue at Eenhana on the occasion of traditional authorities council meeting engagement on measures to address the low uptake of Covid-19 vaccines.

“Being densely populated, it is critical to have more people vaccinated in these regions to shield them ahead of any potential future waves, Hence continued targeted mobilisation of leaders, champions and influencers in these six regions is critical before the festive seasons when an upsurge in the number of new infections is always experienced.

“The chronic low uptake of vaccination in Oshana, Omusati, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Erongo and Zambezi below the national average is a concern,” stated Muinjangue.

She said these regions constitute a cumulative total of 877 199 or 49% of the target population. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Strategy to Achieve Global Covid-19 Vaccination by mid-2022 indicates the immediate goal of the global Covid-19 vaccination strategy is to minimize deaths, severe disease and overall disease burden; curtail the health system impact; fully resume socio-economic activity, and reduce the risk of new variants. 

Muinjangue said: “In the face of an evolving and increasingly transmissible virus, high population immunity is essential to achieve this goal, which means vaccinating broadly. Based on current knowledge, this requires fully vaccinating at least 70% of the world’s population, accounting for most adults and adolescents and the vast majority of those at risk of serious diseases.”

She said many people in Namibia have safely received Covid-19 vaccines and monitored for any serious side effects, however, the number is smaller than those who are not vaccinated. 

Over 90% of people who have lost their lives from Covid-19 disease were unvaccinated.

She urged traditional leaders to become vaccine ambassadors, engage and motivate communities, coordinate for work and home-delivered vaccination outreach, help deliver and disseminate effective vaccine messages and help with combating misinformation.

Governor of Ohangwena, Walde Ndevashiya called on traditional leaders to continue sensitising members of the communities to ensure that they all understand the importance of national projects and cooperate with other stakeholders. 

“I also want to encourage the sub-national structures to understand and respect the traditional authorities as a structure of government. A good working relationship between them is what will help realize the developmental goals as indicated in various national policy documents such as the NDPs, Harambee Prosperity Plan II, and Vision 2030,” he said.  -

2022-09-08  Paheja Siririka

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