It is imperative for adult Namibians to get vaccinated as this will allow the economy and people’s lives to return to normal and will ultimately lead to improved national productivity.
Labour minister Utoni Nujoma expressed this on Monday when he officially launched the annual Productivity Week.
“When people are healthy, the level of a nation’s well-being is also increased as people are the key assets for a country to prosper. Enhancing people's health is what it takes for a productive economy,” said Nujoma in a speech read on his behalf by his advisor Vicki ya Toivo.
The minister pointed out that Namibia’s Labour Act requires employers to provide safe and healthy working conditions for employees and for third parties that come into contact with the respective business activities.
The Labour Act also requires employees to cooperate with their employers to maintain safe and healthy workplaces.
Said Nujoma: “I, therefore, call on you not to be fooled by the fake news spread through social media that is intended to scare you about Covid-19 vaccines. The government is making Covid-19 available to all, free of charge, in order to save lives, to promote the personal health of all Namibians and the overall health of the nation.”
He added that improved productivity has a direct impact on the overall national economy, particularly in the face of globalisation and economic evolution, including the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
In this regard, he stated that the future of work in Namibia must be anchored in ongoing efforts to improve both the physical and mental health of the nation.
In commemorating Productivity Week, the labour ministry aims to demonstrate the importance of productivity in relation to health.
At the same time, the ministry also thanks the nation’s healthcare workers for their continuous dedication and commitment during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The annual productivity awareness-raising activities will, for the first time, be conducted virtually, due to the pandemic. These activities include television and radio interviews; the broadcast of a special productivity video; radio adverts; and a wave of daily messages on social media with the emphasis to encourage all Namibians to be productive amidst Covid-19 challenges.
“The year 2021 is a most challenging year globally and Namibia is not an exception as we are faced with this invisible and destructive Covid-19 pandemic. The country is hard hit by Covid-19 as it has claimed so many lives nationwide.
However, as a nation, we should be grateful to all our healthcare workers for continuously striving to be productive regardless of the current circumstances as they work tirelessly to help keep our communities safe.”
Nujoma said the Covid-19 pandemic has put enormous pressure on the healthcare system. He continued that the nation is humbled by “the immense sacrifices, invaluable dedication, commitment and unwavering efforts of healthcare workers in managing Covid-19, oftentimes risking their own lives, for the benefit of the nation”.
Nujoma concluded that Namibia’s economic and social development relies heavily on its collective and continuous involvement in improving productivity.
“Through our collective involvement, a productive Namibian nation will cause the economy to flourish; this can reduce poverty; create more employment; and enable more citizens to become self-reliant in the mainstream of the economy,” he said. Also speaking at Monday’s event, acting executive director in the labour ministry Lydia Indombo noted it is a tradition in the ministry’s annual calendar for a week to be dedicated to the productivity theme.
She noted that during this dedication, Namibian workers are reminded to embrace the relationship between inputs and outputs in the production process and service delivery in order to enhance productivity.
“As the workforce of Namibia, we have to use the resources at our disposal very prudently and deliver high quality service for employers to realise profits and ensure consistent conducive working environment.
Equally, employers and supervisors need to constantly engage the employees to feel more motivated and be part of the team that works toward the attainment of the organisational goal,” said Indombo.