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Videostills I Dokumentation: Glaubenssachen Hoffen auf die Impfung - Namibia in der Pandemie
Image: Jule Kilimann

Vaccines for Africa - Namibia in the Pandemic

February 4, 2022

Between May and July '21 Namibia suffered a devastating Covid19 wave. In those three months 82 of Lorenst Kuzatjike’s parishioners in the poorest district of the Namibian capital Windhoek died of Covid-related illnesses.

https://p.dw.com/p/46QOw

The Lutheran pastor was conducting funerals almost daily. Like most states on the African continent Namibia had hardly any vaccine stocks.

Videostills I Dokumentation: Glaubenssachen Hoffen auf die Impfung - Namibia in der Pandemie
Image: Jule Kilimann

Since the crisis last year the churches in southern Africa have been at the forefront of a campaign for rich countries to share their vaccine stocks more equitably with poorer nations. They have also been countering fake news and conspiracy theories on social media which claim that vaccinations are dangerous. Pastors are urging their flocks to get the jab - while hoping against hope that enough vaccine doses will become available.

Corona Impfung in Windhoek 2021
Image: Jule Kilimann/DW

Germany promised last July to donate more than 30 million doses to the World Health Organisation by Christmas 2021, but the WHO’s representative in Namibia says only 150,000 have been delivered so far. Diplomatically the health expert adds that Germany hasn’t entirely fulfilled its promise yet. By the end of last year only about 10 percent of Namibia’s population had been vaccinated.

Videostills I Dokumentation: Glaubenssachen Hoffen auf die Impfung - Namibia in der Pandemie
Image: Jule Kilimann

In Africa lockdowns and job losses have already produced social consequences that people in rich countries can scarcely imagine. Covid19 has helped drive a sharp rise in food insecurity across much of Africa, and the consensus among virologists is that only mass vaccination can bring an end to the pandemic.

 

Pastors in Namibia tell us that many families in that southwest African country can no longer meet even their most basic needs.

 

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