Health

Health ministry terminates COVID-19 volunteers’ contracts

Summary

The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MOHSS) has resolved to terminate the contracts of all 1444 COVID -19 volunteers across the country, effective 31 October 2022. This was revealed in a letter seen by this agency, written by the […]

The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MOHSS) has resolved to terminate the contracts of all 1444 COVID -19 volunteers across the country, effective 31 October 2022.

This was revealed in a letter seen by this agency, written by the ministry’s Executive Director, Ben Nangombe, dated 13 September 2022 and addressed to all national and regional directors; chief medical superintendents; heads of COVID -19 response pillars and human resource practitioners in the ministry.

In the letter, Nangombe explained that the decision was taken due to the considerable decline in COVID – 19 cases and the repeal of all public health regulations on 25 August, as well as the unfavourable financial situation faced by the ministry.

“The appointment contracts of all COVID -19 volunteers will be terminated on 31 October 2022. Therefore, the letter dated 19 May 2022 on the extension of the contracts until 31 December 2022 is herewith withdrawn,” Nangombe stated.

Some unhappy COVID-19 volunteers who approached this news agency on Thursday feel the government has ‘betrayed’ them by terminating their appointment contracts before 31 December 2022.

One such volunteer, Augustino Paolo, said since the ministry is the one breaching the contract and they deserve to be paid their salaries for November and December as well.

“Government betrayed us because lately, they have been forcing us to take all our leave days, meaning they want us to walk out with next month’s salary only. All this time calling us frontline workers and heroes never really meant anything,” Paolo complained.

Paolo said he and others have nowhere to go but into the streets once the contract ends, as it is difficult to find employment with the country’s economy not doing well.

Nangombe told Nampa telephonically that the ministry is not finding joy in terminating these contracts and that it received authorisation from the Public Service Commission to recruit volunteers to combat the COVID-19 pandemic for a certain period of time.

This period, he explained, is also to some extent determined by the epidemiology of COVID-19 and the limited financial resources.

“Now that the epidemiology is on a downward trajectory, and the resources that were allocated are also used up, we don’t have the means to keep the volunteers on board,” he said.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

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