Armed forces receive field hospital
The donated equipment will be used by the defence forces to offer Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) services to all defence force personnel, free of charge.
The self-contained medical theatre tent includes a generator offering climate control for the comfort and health of patients as well as electricity and water systems. The medical theatre tent and VMMC kits, valued at N$1,134,000, were donated by the United States Department of Defence with funding from the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
In addition, the tent will assist in providing counselling, testing, and referral services to stop the spread and stigma of HIV.
U.S. Embassy Chargé d’ Affaires, ad interim Mr. John Kowalski at the event said, “This surgical tent, intended for the Namibian Defence Force, is just one aspect of the United States commitment to eliminate the spread of HIV in Namibia.”
NDF personnel completed training on the medical tent systems and received certificates at the ceremony. The tent began its operation as a field hospital earlier this month and after it serves the personnel in Windhoek it will travel the country to provide circumcision services for NDF personnel.
The equipment will travel to remote locations in Namibia where the soldiers do not have easy access to a hospital. Through this partnership, the U.S. Government worked with the government to achieve the Ministry of Defence goal of 7,500 VMMCs for service members, their families, and the communities that surround their bases.
Pepfar said studies have revealed that male circumcision, a low-cost medical procedure, reduces the risk of sexual transmission of HIV by 60% and reduces the risk of developing cervical cancer in women.
In addition to the surgical field hospital, the Ministry of Defence, with support from PEPFAR, has opened two static VMMC sites at Grootfontein Military Hospital and at Peter Mweshihange Military Health Centre in Windhoek. By working together, the United States and Namibian Governments are one step closer to achieving an AIDS-free generation.