WINDHOEK – President Hage Geingob has expressed deep concern over the escalating levels of alcohol and drug abuse especially among young Namibian men.
Geingob, who on Wednesday had the University of Namibia Health Sciences Campus named Dr Hage Geingob Campus, stressed that the people of Namibia subscribe to the belief that a healthy nation is a productive nation, and an investment in the health sector is an investment in the future of a country.
It is however concerning that the health consciousness amongst Namibia people is very low, little attention is given to physical exercise and wellbeing, while alcohol and drug abuse continue to burden society, the President said.
“You see some police officers, soldiers and even ministers with Kapundas [potbellies],” he said.
“When I came from exile, I saw young people drinking and they say they have nothing to do. Young kids, not only young kids but young men are drinking. When I go to my church, its only young girls and women. Where are the men? Young men are drinking and smoking. When they go home, the girls and women are smarter because they read books. They [men] get jealous and they kill them,” Geingob reacted.
He stressed that it is important for Namibians to improve their health awareness nationwide and also clean up their immediate and surrounding environments. That is the reason he would be launching the ‘Clean-Up Campaign’ on 25 May, with the theme ‘A clean environment for a healthier nation’. The aim is “to improve on the hygienic conditions in which we live and thereby safeguard the health of our communities,” he said.
Geingob stated that, the campus is an important investment in the health sector as it has an integral role to play in the future of Namibia. He said the students who will pursue respective disciplines within health sciences, are preparing to establish themselves as the guardians of the national wellbeing and vitality.
“The people of the land tasked me with the mission of creating conditions for era of shared prosperity into the Namibian house. I take that noble, but difficult mission, seriously and place a high premium on the health of our people as a precondition for our shared prosperity,” Geingob stated.
He referred to the objective and targets on health set out in the Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5), as well as the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), which are to ensure that all Namibians will have access to quality health care and that by 2022, the Health Adjusted Life Expectancy in Namibia will increase to 67.5 years, from the current age of 59 years. There is also the reduction of infant mortality as a priority under the pillar on social progression.
It is because of that the identification and training of community health workers and midwifes is one of several strategies and actions government aim to deploy in order to mitigate the risks of infant mortality.
He indicated the students graduating from this campus would help Namibia to meet its objective of ensuring that “no mother in the Namibian house should lose her life while giving birth.”