CentralSANehawu concerned about vaccine corruption
─── 12:33 Thu, 14 Jan 2021
The National, Education, Health, and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) is concerned about corruption as millions more Covid-19 vaccines are secured for African countries.
It follows the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), chaired by Ramaphosa, has secured an additional 270 million doses, with the bulk to be delivered between April and June this year.
The vaccines will be supplied by Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson.
Nehawu spokesperson Khaya Xaba says they are especially worried about corruption when the vaccines become available.
“Well, we are worried about the scourge of corruption as you know that it is very endemic and not only in South Africa but all over the African continent.
“We are hoping that the African Union will put stringent measures to ensure that the vaccine goes where it is supposed to go so that we can intensify the fight against the virus on the continent.
“Each government has a responsibility and objective to ensure that it eliminates corrupt people from laying their funds and the vaccine. We will monitor that, and hope people will have a sense of heart and ensure they don’t steal anything and that it goes where it is supposed to go, especially prioritising healthcare workers,” says Xaba.
Nehawu does, however, welcome the procurement of these vaccines.
Xaba says poor working conditions for healthcare workers must be prioritised across the continent.
“We are engaging with sister unions and other federations across the continent to ensure that we deal with the issue of working conditions of workers, especially with the numbers escalating on a daily basis.
“Every workplace in the continent will deal with the issue of ensuring there is sufficient of PPE’s, sufficient medication and drugs but also the issue of ensuring each and every workplace has a functioning health and safety committee that looks into compliance of health and safety,” adds Xaba.