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Old Mutual donation to ease the process of rapid case search, contact tracing and data management as country battles COVID-19

Old Mutual donation to ease the process of rapid case search, contact tracing and data management as country battles COVID-19

With a spike of COVID-19 cases in the country and contact tracing a hurdle, Old Mutual Namibia on Thursday donated some electronic devices to help with the country’s national COVID-l9 response team with communication as well as to facilitate the process of rapid case search, contact tracing and data management.

The donated items worth N$998,030.46 included 35 Dell Vostro i7 laptops fully programmed, each with a bag and a mouse, for data capturing, analysis and reporting and 37 Samsung A8.0″ Tablets for capturing contact tracing data in the field and also for monitoring the contacts, as contact monitoring is mainly done telephonically to avoid unnecessary exposure.

Receiving the unique donation at an event in Windhoek, the Minister of Health and Social Services Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, said the equipment will greatly improve the documentation and reporting of these critical events.

“These processes and actions are crucial to containing the COVID-l9 pandemic. The use of technology has become an integral part of health and outbreak response and Namibia is embracing this concept,” he said.

Old Mutual’s Marketing, Communication and Customer Strategy Executive, Ndangi Katoma at the event said the donation will capacitate the ministry’s surveillance system capability based on the identified and prioritised needs at national, regional, and district-level during and after COVID-19.

“These laptops are each installed with Office Home software, Antivirus, a mouse, and a clamshell bag. They were delivered on 11 June and have been deployed in the tracing value chain, feeding into the epidemiology function in the Ministry,” he added.

According to Katoma the donation is part of Old Mutual’s pledged N$5 million to help curb the COVID-19. Phase 2 of this component comprises of the N$1 Million that was pledged towards strengthening contact tracing capacity of the health ministry, he added.

“We have considered this support package informed by experience gained and lessons learned from countries that have been effectively fighting the impact of COVID-19. That experience reveals that large scale testing followed by effective tracing, isolation, and treatment significantly contributes to early ‘flattening of the exponential infection curve’. This, we believe will alleviate the pressure on our limited health facilities,” he added.

Meanwhile, Katoma said the donated laptops and tablets  can and will be used by the ministry for other disease outbreaks post-COVID-19.

“This will make data transmission easier in terms of using the laptops to capture data on contacts identified, keep the database, do analysis and produce outputs while tablets will be used to capture contact tracing data in the field,” he added.

Caption: Hon. Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula and Ndangi Katoma, Executive: Marketing, Communications and Customer Strategy Old Mutual.


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Musa Carter

Musa Carter is a long-standing freelance contributor to the editorial team and also an active reporter. He gathers and verifies factual information regarding stories through interviews, observation and research. For the digital Economist, he promotes targeted content through various social networking sites such as the Economist facebook page (/Nameconomist/) and Twitter.

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