The prolonged closure of Angola’s borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Ministry of Health and Social Services officials in the Kunene Region to turn to unconventional methods to deliver lifesaving medication, including HIV drugs, to patients living in Angola who would previously cross the border to make use of Namibian healthcare services. This, Kunene Health Director Thomas Shapumba told the Namibia press agency, includes calling on the assistance of the Namibian Police Force. Patients living in Angola deliver their medical passports to the Angolan authorities at the border, who pass the medical passports on to the Namibian police. The police officers then drive to the nearest clinic, collect the medication, and along with a healthcare worker deliver it to the Angolan authority, which then distributes the medication to the patients. “It’s not an ideal situation but these are our patients, on our records, and we cannot leave them to suffer and potentially die,” Shapumba said.
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