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The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, has dismissed allegations that Namibia has signed the WHO Pandemic Treaty, which is yet to be adopted since negotiations are ongoing.
 
Dr. Shangula was responding to allegations by the president of the Republican Party that by signing the treaty, Namibia would lose its sovereignty and be subservient to the World Health Organisation's whims.

Dr. Shangula further explained that he did give a statement in the National Assembly and that the matter is not being discussed in secrecy.

He said the remarks made by the Republican Party depict ignorance on health and other matters and are riddled with misinformation and conspiracy theories.

According to Mudge, these agreements will give the UN health agency total control over the country's health system.

'''Some of the amendments to the 2005 International Health Regulations intend to make existing non-binding recommendations mandatory, which he says would allow for the WHO to dictate regulations that would have devastating effects on the rights and freedom of Namibians.''

Dr. Shangula stated that the health instruments being negotiated will find ways to close loopholes experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The health instruments also speak to equity in accessing health products that will prevent and deal with pandemics, as well as build capacity in all member states to be able to detect outbreaks timeously.

The Intergovernmental Negotiating Body dealing with the expected new international health status quo, he says, is open to all member states and non-state actors.

''If they want to send a delegation to participate in the negotiations, they are welcome, and they can do so. There is no secrecy in the negotiations; it has been discussed in the open, and Namibia is represented in the negotiation body. Immediately when the decision was taken by the World Health Assembly, there were rumours that we had signed a treaty. Now, a treaty that does not exist cannot be signed, and if I made a statement in the national assembly, it meant I had given information to the public.''

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Celma Ndhikwa