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Container laboratory handed over to Walvis Bay State Hospital

Container laboratory handed over to Walvis Bay State Hospital

The Robert Koch Institute, together with partners Sanlam and the FirstRand Namibia Foundation handed over a container laboratory to the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) at the Walvis Bay State Hospital.

Shiikwa Kathingo, FNB Area Sales and Service Manager in his address said that the FirstRand HOPE Fund was approached by the Ministry of Health and Social Services for financial support to convert a container in Walvis Bay into additional lab space.

“We are extremely proud of being able to render support from the FirstRand HOPE Fund to the amount of N$97,048.50. We firmly believe that testing remains critical and is crucial to help treat, isolate or hospitalise people who are infected.”

Ben Nangombe, Executive Director, Health and Social Services spoke on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Government and celebrated the fact that from a time of little capacity more than 18 months ago, Namibia has increased capabilities many times over.

“We have even ventured into the area of genome sequencing, where our scientists can identify the type of COVID-19 variants circulating in our country. This speaks to the hard work and ingenuity of the Namibian people as we worked with dedication, together with our development cooperation partners to combat the invisible COVID-19 adversary and threat.”

Nangome again emphasised the importance of vaccination as this was the best way to stave off another devastating wave. “We call on all social partners and stakeholders to encourage all eligible persons to get vaccinated,” he said.

Kapena Tjombode, CEO of NIP expressed her immense gratitude and great appreciation as her company officially received the donated COVID-19 testing laboratory, to amplify their service delivery to the Erongo Region community. NIP now has testing capacity in Windhoek, Oshakati, Katima Mulilo, Rundu, Keetmanshoop and in Walvisbay. “We are very grateful for the gesture demonstrated by MoHSS and its developmental partner, the Robert Koch Institute as well as private sector corporates, namely Sanlam Namibia, and FirstRand Namibia.”

Hon. Neville Andre Itope, Governor of the Erongo Region acknowledged the important role NIP plays in the Namibian health care sector and more importantly during the unprecedented times of COVID-19. “As Governor of this great Erongo region, I am delighted that such collaborative initiatives are taking place here on our doorstep. The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is a collective responsibility and, thank you once again for the impactful investment.”

L/R: Ms. Kapena Tjombonde – NIP CEO, Cllr. Trevino Forbes – Walvis Bay Mayor, Cllr. Deriou Benson,  Ben Nangombe – Executive Director of Health.


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The Economist accommodates two interns every year, one per semester. They are given less demanding, softer issues to hone their skills, often with a specific leaning to social issues. Today, many of our interns are respected journalists or career professionals at economic and financial institutions. - Ed.