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Namib Laboratories officially open

Namib Laboratories is a subsidiary entity of Feedmaster that was established in 2018 and recently unveiled its state of the art laboratory, to conduct all microbiological, serological, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) related diagnostic tests for the Namib Mills group of companies.

General Manager of Feedmaster Jaco Labuschagne said the humble beginning is this laboratory was born out of the frustration of local veterinary laboratory services, particularly concerning the poultry industry.

“The turnaround time of veterinary serology analyses for this industry is restricted to reacting to physical challenges, which could not be met with biological samples that had to be couriered across the border to laboratories in South Africa,” he added.

He said Feedmaster took the challenge to establish laboratory services to handle veterinary and microbiological analyses for Namib Poultry Industries and Namib Mills and from the start, Namib Lab aimed to establish an internationally accredited independent laboratory.

Namib Laboratory Manager, Louise Clack said they realised a need to offer these services to Namibia’s veterinarians and food services-related industries and in 2020 they offered their services to the Ministry of Health and Social Services to do PCR COVID testing since they had the equipment and skilled personnel, knowing there would be a sunset on this pandemic.

“The lab created 11 new job opportunities for Namibians with this venture, we employed the services of experienced, highly skilled, and qualified key personnel, which Namib laboratories regard as the business’s biggest asset and the vision is to revolutionize analytical and pathological laboratory services in Namibia,” she added.

She further explained that most poultry-related veterinary testing, including microscopy, bird vaccination programmes, and PCR tests for disease identification, can be handled by a team with sufficient expertise.

“We are not also testing for Trichomonas and Campylobacter in cattle, thanks to diversification in the agricultural section and veterinarians have the opportunity to get in touch with us to talk about buying test kits for any procedures they frequently carry out,” she said.

Clark stated that the clinical section is the latest division in the laboratory and the one Namib Laboratories are most passionate about, by using Beckman Coulter equipment, we can do all chemistry, immunochemistry, and haematology investigations.

“We are also capable of performing any microbiological culture and are presently talking with pathologists to join the team and are consulting with doctors about any results or other issues,” added Clark

She said they are also procuring the essential equipment and reagents for chemistry and water studies and Namib Laboratories anticipate starting the water test soon.

“Once this equipment is in place, we can do mineral studies on soil, feed and feed source materials, watch this space, many more things are still to come,” she concluded.

All members of the community and the public are welcome to visit and enquire regarding the services at any time.


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