Canadian company ReconAfrica, which is conducting oil exploration activities in the Kavango East and West regions, recently donated N$15 million towards the Covid-19 vaccination campaign in the two regions.
According to ReconAfrica spokesperson Ndapewoshali Shapwanale, the company deemed it appropriate to assist government's vaccination activities in the two regions in response to the challenges faced by the public health system in the two regions.
"We understand the importance of getting all Namibians vaccinated and at the same time we also understand the challenges our public healthcare workers are facing, especially in the two regions, hence we heeded their call and assist in the best way we can," she said.
The funds will be used for the provision of transport for healthcare officials to travel to remote areas in the regions and other awareness activities that will be conducted during the campaign period. Some funds will also be allocated for wages of healthcare workers who will be contracted to assist during the campaign and mobilisation activities.
Kavango East governor Bonifatius Wakudumo commended the company for the donation, noting that it will assist government's efforts in ensuring that it reaches the herd immunity target.
The governor further stated that limited resources, misinformation and Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy, among others, are some of the challenges experienced in the region.
"Only 12.9% of the Kavango East target population are vaccinated, while 87% remain at risk of Covid-19 infection in the next wave, therefore, we need to double our efforts of ensuring that people are vaccinated as quickly as possible, especially the elderly," Wakudumo said.
The Health director for the Kavango East region, Timea Ngwira indicated that there is a need to have a targeted campaign, especially for the elderly as their age group has the highest death rate in the region.
Ngwira further reiterated the need to have the vulnerable groups vaccinated against the deadly virus before the fourth wave hits.
The Kavango East region currently has 5 187 confirmed cases and 227 deaths. About 76% of the confirmed cases in the region are young people while 24% are those aged 50 years and above.
The donation handover ceremony marked the official kickoff of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign, a collaboration between the Ministry of Health and Social Services and ReconAfrica.