The African Union Commission (AUC), through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), offered over N$3 million in the form of specialised labour aid and medical supplies towards Namibia’s coronavirus pandemic response.
The Africa CDC’s commitment includes the donation of personal protective equipment to frontline health care workers, oxygen concentrators, laboratory equipment for Covid-19 testing and an additional labour force of health care workers.
Namibia has 116 964 cumulative confirmed Covid-19 cases, of which 20 893 are active cases. So far, 2 834 people have died from the virus in Namibia.
Africa CDC representative Dr Talkmore Maruta said a request was made to the AUC to provide support to Namibia’s coronavirus pandemic response.
“A team of experts was put together and dispatched as an advance team to come and understand the situation on the ground. Most importantly, identify the gaps, so that we [Africa CDC] can be able to mobilise additional support,” he said.
Only a few African countries have the capacity for large-scale genome sequencing, the Africa CDC organisation has been crucial in finding new Covid-19 variations, such as the Delta variant in countries throughout the continent.
Maruta added that there will be training on how local staff members can identify the emerging variants, in addition, a labour force comprised of five epidemiologists and 250 community health care workers will be provided to strengthen the battle outside the hospitals.
Minister of Health and Social Services Dr Kalumbi Shangula emphasised that the protection of those in the line of duty against the deadly coronavirus is a priority.
“Namibia, as a developing country, is in need of diverse resources to effectively respond towards the Covid-19 pandemic and build a resilient health care delivery system. Therefore, the imperativeness of the donation can’t be overemphasised and, indeed, came at a time when they are most needed,” he said.
Namibia in recent times established a military hospital to tackle the number of hospitalisations and the business community has also become instrumental in acquiring oxygen for various hospitals across the country.
Shangula added that the assistance and donations from Africa CDC contribute to the health ministry’s efforts to achieve its vision and mission by “delivering affordable, quality and accessible healthcare and social services”.