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US support to curb drug-resistant tuberculosis in Tsumkwe’s San community

US support to curb drug-resistant tuberculosis in Tsumkwe’s San community

The expansive Tsumkwe district which is home to the San community whose residents are particularly affected by drug-resistant tuberculosis, recently got a boost from the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID).

The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Country Representative, Dr. Randy Kolstad, handed a 4×4-vehicle and cartridges for a GeneXpert TB diagnostic machine to use for tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis, to the Ministry of Health and Social Services at Tsumkwe a fortnight ago.

The GeneXpert cartridges will be used to identify the disease within 90 minutes instead of sending a sputum specimen to a laboratory from where the results would only return after several days or even weeks.

While the 4×4 vehicle will be used by field workers to reach patients even in the most remote rural communities of the Otjozondjupa Region.

At the hand-over Kolstad reminded the community in attendance of this year’s World-TB-Day theme “It’s time!” – time to diagnose and help every single TB patient, even in the most remote corners of Namibia, including those suffering from drug-resistant tuberculosis.

“Drug-resistant TB used to be a death sentence for many, but that’s no more, thanks to new medications and treatment regimens. Through various mechanisms, the United States Government has significantly supported efforts to address the challenge of tuberculosis,” highlighted Kolstad.

The Deputy Director of Special Programmes, Tomas Ukola, received the donations on behalf of the Executive Director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Benetus Nangombe, who thanked USAID for its support.

Together with representatives of the Ministry of Health and the regional government, Kolstad visited the nearby San community of Duine Pos where they observed health workers providing directly observed therapy to TB patients.

Tuberculosis is the top cause of death among infectious diseases globally with almost a quarter of the world’s population being infected.

However, the infection does not necessarily mean that the individual has the disease as most people’s immune system can contain and fight off the bacteria. Tuberculosis is also the top cause of death among people infected with HIV, and in Namibia, HIV has been a driver of the TB epidemic.

Over the years, USAID’s KNCV Challenge TB project has supported the establishment of the Tsumkwe stakeholder forum for tuberculosis and has increased community participation and awareness about the disease.

The project also established the country’s first ambulatory care treatment model for drug-resistant tuberculosis in Tsumkwe.

Caption: USAID Country Representative, Dr. Randy Kolstad, and community health worker Stephanus Mandjoro are counting the pills for 17-year-old drug-resistant TB patient Nqeni N/Hoakxa at the Duine Pos San community on the outskirts of Tsumkwe.


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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.