Polio Official Dies in Crash

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By Chrispin Inambao RUNDU A driver assigned to the planned poliomyelitis vaccination campaign that started nationwide today, lost his life early yesterday morning when a grey and white Mitsubishi Colt overturned some ten kilometres outside Rundu. The pickup, driven by the Patrick Makando, a health worker who was on his way to Katima Mulilo from Windhoek, where several drivers had travelled to collect a fleet of all-terrain vehicles allocated to the exercise, was wrecked and had to be towed away. All its windows and the canopy were shattered and its three tyres, apart from the front one on the passenger side, burst while its metal body was twisted into a mangled wreck. Senior officials at Katima and Rundu confirmed the accident. It appears Makando was the sole occupant. The drivers were expected to travel singly on the return trip. At the time this newspaper visited the Government Garage to where the vehicle was towed all the personal effects of the victim appeared to have been removed apart from a CD cover of the album ‘Stress’ by South African musician Bongile Lutseke. By yesterday, investigators had not figured out what led to the fatal accident apart from speculation that the accident may have been caused by a burst tyre or a stray cow. Meanwhile, in Rundu the Chief Health Program Administrator, Bartholomeus Muntenda, said his office received a fleet of 34 vehicles – the bulk of them Four-by-Fours from Windhoek. In addition to these, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development supplied three, Environment and Tourism allocated another three, the Forestry Directorate two, while Labour supplied a single vehicle with the Regional Council promising to provide nine vehicles. Muntenda said the exercise that will cover the nine constituencies of Mukwe, Ndiyona, Mashare, Rundu Rural East, Rundu Rural West, Rundu Urban, Kapako, Kahenge and Mpungu have need of 71 vehicles. The minimum number required is 66. “We are about to meet our fleet needs,” said Muntenda who oversees the whole exercise. Regarding the amount of vaccine received from Windhoek, he said: “We received all our vaccine needs plus the top-up for visitors and for unforeseen circumstances like in the case of Angolans coming in to be vaccinated or to replace broken ones.” He said though an allowance was set aside to accommodate migrants and possibly those transiting through the region, health workers are aware of limited stocks available. So far, 117 volunteers have been trained and are being complimented by a team of 30 people on standby with another thirty volunteers already trained to assist with vaccinations. A hundred-and-twenty-seven teams will man 566 fixed and mobile vaccination points. Muntenda said the exercise in Kavango is “in full swing” with teams to man points in rural areas already being sent out by yesterday afternoon.