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Sunday 25 December 2005
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NAMIBIA: Govt reacts on AIDS disability grant reports


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


JOHANNESBURG, 27 July (PLUSNEWS) - Namibia has denied allegations that it had scrapped disability grants to people living with HIV/AIDS.

Earlier this week a local newspaper, The Namibian, reported that Dr Columbia Shingle, permanent secretary of the health ministry, had sent a circular to all senior medical officials informing them that any payment of such grants to HIV-positive people was illegal.

But on Wednesday Shingle responded by saying that the government had decided to disallow grants to able-bodied HIV-positive people who could still hold down employment.

The Namibian quoted Shangula as saying, "If an individual develops full-blown AIDS and is incapable of working, such a person would qualify for a disability grant by virtue of being incapable of adequately providing for their own maintenance, and not by virtue of being HIV-positive."

According to the Ministry of Health, a 50 percent level of disability, determined by a medical doctor, would qualify the recipient for a grant.

[ENDS]

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