Legal Group Calls Namibia’s New Budgetary Allocations for Health Sector Inadequate
The Namibian government has not allocated enough money in its new budget to address problems facing the Ministry of Health and Social Services, such as providing sufficient treatment access to people living with HIV/AIDS, the Nambian Legal Assistance Centre said recently, the Namibian reports.
The government has allocated 6.4 billion Namibian dollars, or about $730 million, for health sector programs in fiscal year 2008, the Namibian reports. According to LAC, the allocation is a 26% increase from last year. In a statement issued last week, Amon Ngavetene, project coordinator of LAC's AIDS Law Unit, said that 9.5% of the total budget is allocated for the health sector -- significantly less than the 15% target set by a conference of African health ministers in April 2007.
LAC "does not believe" that the allocation is "enough to meet the perennial challenges besieging" the health ministry -- particularly the programs for antiretroviral drug access, infrastructure deterioration and general improvements in working conditions for staff -- the center said. "We hope that with this allocation tied with responsible and accountable spending," the health targets in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals will have a "chance to be progressively realized as we move" toward the MDG 2015 deadline, Ngavetene added (Namibian, 3/19).