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First Lady Sustjie Mbumba hosted a high-level Roundtable Discussion on inequalities, HIV, TB, Malaria, and Pandemics at State House on Friday.

During the opening of the discussion, Madame Mbumba encouraged individuals and organisations to speak out against inequality or injustice.

The First Lady says that there can be no rest until equality is achieved.

"Namibia is still ranked as the 2nd most unequal country globally, according to the World Bank Report. We experience inequalities related to gender, age, education, employment, and wealth. Let us start to address food insecurity and ensure access to quality healthcare services for those who need it most; let us learn from our beneficiaries, those living positively with HIV, and those living with disabilities."

Mbumba also used the opportunity to applaud the work done by her predecessor, Monica Geingos, who, through the establishment of the #BeFree Youth Campus, undertook to fight against inequalities.

Speaking at the discussion, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, said that the historical impact of deadly pandemics on societies worldwide has had negative effects on economies, politics, and social structures. 

The minister noted that past killers like smallpox, the Spanish flu, and AIDS would disproportionately affect the poor and vulnerable.

Dr. Shangula said Namibia has made progress in combating HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, citing declines in incidence and deaths, but also outlined challenges such as TB's link to HIV and the need for sustained funding.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator to Namibia, Hopolang Phororo, expressed sentiment that she would have wished to see Namibia continue with the N$750 income grant it distributed to some of the country's less privileged citizens.

Phororo says that, though the exercise is costly, it was the right step in addressing inequality. 

Phororo, who was also a panellist at First Lady Sustjie Mumba's High-Level Roundtable Discussion on Inequalities, HIV, TB, Malaria, and Pandemics, also stressed the need for the robust involvement of the private sector to fight inequalities.

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Photo Credits
Sustjie Mbumba, The First Lady Of Namibia

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Author
Emil Seibeb