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The Minister of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) says the increase in population has implications for the healthcare system.

Dr. Kalumbi Shangula says the current infrastructure, unlike in the past, cannot handle the increased demand for public healthcare services.

The population of Namibia has grown to just over three million inhabitants in the last twelve years, and with this population increase, so has the demand for social and health needs.

Critical skill shortages experienced in health sector

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The challenge of skill-mix imbalance remains a concern for the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS).

Minister Kalumbi Shangula pointed out that this shortage of health professionals in the labour market is the cause of the imbalance.

The shortage is in the areas of optometrists, cardiologists, dieticians, speech therapists, sonographers, prostheticians, and psychologists, among others.

Minister Shangula also highlighted the issue of a lack of funding to train and study in those fields.

EU, German diplomats reminded to respect Vienna Convention principles

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The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation (MIRCO) has maintained that the government has no objection as to who diplomatic missions accredited to Namibia engage. 

It says, however, that discussions on issues that are the sole preserve and prerogative of the sending and host governments, with a conversant not representing the government, are inconsistent with diplomatic practices and akin to interference in the domestic affairs of the country.

Health service delivery set to improve in Kavango East

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The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, says service delivery in the Kavango East health directorate is set to improve with the allocation of more than N$217 million from the national budget. 

Dr. Shangula, who was speaking at the World Health Day celebrations in Rundu on Monday, says the Ministry of Health is undertaking various capital projects countrywide, and significant changes are expected to take place in Kavango East. 

These include ICU and dialysis-related services.

Government increases water access in rural areas

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Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila handed over a borehole to the residents of Epembe Constituency's Ohamutwe-Tautende Village in the Ohangwena Region.

The project was funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform to the tune of N$2.7 million.

The residents of Ohamutwe-Tautende and surrounding villages have been without clean water since independence and have depended on wells.

The government tried in vain to drill boreholes in the area several times, but the water was saline and the underground water quality was poor for shallow boreholes.

More needs to be done to empower women - UN 

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Participants in the inter-generational dialogue on women's empowerment under the United Nations' We the Women campaign say more still needs to be done to empower women and bring them on par with their male counterparts. 

The event was attended by women from different backgrounds in terms of careers and also from different civil society organisations in Windhoek.

Participants say that despite women's rights having increased in the 21st century, it is unfortunate that there are still persistent challenges facing them as countries struggle to ensure gender equality.

BIPA extends annual duty penalty waiver

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The Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA), in consultation with the Ministry of Trade and Industrialization, has extended its annual duty penalty waiver.

Minister Lucia Iipumbu, during her ministerial statement in the National Assembly, announced that the programme that was supposed to end on March 31 will be extended by three more months to June 30.

This programme applies to eligible registered business entities that have accumulated penalties due to not paying their annual duties on time.

China, Namibia forge military collaboration for mutual benefit

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Over the years, China and Namibia have collaborated in areas of mutual benefit, such as the strengthening of their military capabilities.

Brigadier General Natanael Ngolo, Chief of Defence Intelligence, expressed this sentiment during the reception of Colonel Li Shujun, the Chinese Defence Attaché. 

The collaboration, he further says, has fostered a greater understanding between the armed forces of both countries.

Namibia ranks 11th on TB incidence globally

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Despite the relatively low number of tuberculosis (TB) cases in the country, Namibia ranks 11th globally in terms of TB incidence and per capita expenditure on TB treatment. 

The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, emphasised that the emergence of multidrug-resistant TB poses a significant health challenge for the country. 

Dr. Shangula made these remarks during the discussion of the Appropriation Bill at the committee stage.

MTC deactivates 323,236 SIM cards

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MTC has deactivated 323,236 SIM cards, as 1,613,893 of its subscribers, 83.3%, managed to register by the deadline on Sunday.

MTC Chief Human Capital, Corporate Affairs, and Marketing Officer, Tim Ekandjo, explains that customers with suspended numbers will not be able to utilise any services for the interim until they comply with the SIM registration process. This grace period is to last for 90 days, effective from April 1 until July 1, 2024, or as otherwise decided by CRAN.