US honours outgoing health minister

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WINDHOEK – Outgoing Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi – who on Saturday was awarded a token of appreciation for his outstanding leadership by the United States – yesterday said he dedicates the award to all Namibia’s health practitioners.

Kamwi, who referred to the health practitioners – especially those in the public sector – as unsung heroes and heroines of the health sector, said: “They are the ones who made it happen. All I did was to give the leadership.”

The United States Ambassador to Namibia, Thomas Daughton, and a visiting dignitary from the US honoured Kamwi with an award for his commitment to the Ministry of Health and Social Services as well as the collaborative partnership he had with the US.

Shannon Smith, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of State presented Kamwi with the award.

Smith applauded Kamwi for his support for the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programme and the role that the Ministry of Health and Social Services has played in implementing assistance programmes.

She explained the significance of Kamwi’s work and the recognition that his efforts to save lives garnered from Washington.

In addition, Smith hand-delivered to Kamwi a ‘thank you’ letter from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Director, Thomas Frieden.

The Public Affairs Officer in the US Embassy in Namibia, Priscilla Hernandez, in an interview with New Era yesterday added that the accolade is to recognise Kamwi’s commitment to the health sector as well as his collaboration with the USA. “…We wanted to honour him for that,” explained Hernandez.

“I received it (award) with humility. I was humbled and touched, especially when I read the citation (letter),” said Kamwi. Kamwi also acknowledged the leadership of outgoing President Hifikepunye Pohamba. A thankful Kamwi said Pohamba gave utmost support to the Ministry of Health and Social Services. Kamwi also expressed gratitude to his Cabinet colleagues as well as his family who had to put up with his busy schedule.

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