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German Institute supports local COVID-19 diagnostic testing

German Institute supports local COVID-19 diagnostic testing

After a first diagnostic laboratory training in Windhoek in March, Namibia’s German partners continue to provide critical testing materials like swabs and reagents.

This has enabled the Namibia Institute of Pathology to conduct more than 2,000 tests so far.

Six lab technicians from the Namibia Institute of Pathology, the University of Namibia and the Central Veterinary Laboratory were trained on COVID-19 testing through a collaboration between the Ministry of Health and Social Services and the Robert Koch Institute.

Further and ongoing support is provided by Robert Koch Institute and German Epidemic Preparedness Team with several shipments of diagnostic reagents, laboratory consumables and technical equipment to ramp up preparedness of Namibia and meet the rising demand for local testing.

“The support of the German Government for COVID-19 diagnostic capacities is an important pillar of our fight,” highlighted Ben Nangombe, Executive Director of health.

On a global level, there is still shortage on reagents for molecular diagnostics and antibody testing for Covid-19 and specific swabs to collect and transport samples.

Namibia’s health ministry therefore requested further support from the German partners with regard to these critical consumables, which has been delivered with the repatriation flight of Air Namibia on 3 June.

“We are extremely glad that we were in the position to support Namibia through the Robert Koch Institute and German Epidemic Preparedness Team right before the virus reached Namibia. In cooperation with the Namibian Embassy in Berlin we are happy that we can use the recent repatriation flight again for those essential supplies They will enable to conduct during the next month up to 1000 tests in Namibia and also enable the country to initiate a first pilot study on antibodies to SARS-CoV-2,” said Ellen Gölz, Chargée d’Affaires a.i. at the German Embassy Windhoek.

Caption: A trainee during the diagnostics laboratory training session in Namibia in March.


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Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys

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