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Increasing Namibia’s testing capacity

2022-07-28  Loide Jason

Increasing Namibia’s testing capacity

Since its establishement in August 2015, the ProQuest Diagnostic Laboratories have performed thousands of tests for both the public and private markets within Oshana and Oshikoto regions, thus contributing to the health ministry’s goal to increase testing capacity and easier access to tests in Namibia.

Its managing director Loide Uushona said they also contributed extensively to Covid-19 testing since early 2021 when they set up a molecular laboratory to conduct SARS-Cov-2 testing in and around the Oshana region. 

The ProQuest Diagnostic main laboratory handles the bulk of the work, and the Covid-19 unit is a smaller addition to the main lab. 

Uushona said the work they do consists of diagnostic tests, performed across different areas of clinical pathology i.e. chemistry, immunochemistry, serology, haematology, microbiology and molecular and preparation of culture media for sale. 

She explained that laboratory tests play a vital role in healthcare, as they form part of preventive care, enable diagnoses and assist in the selection and monitoring of treatment. 

“Laboratory tests are also used in research and to guide disease surveillance and response,” added Uushona.

The managing director futher indicated the industry is filled with challenges, especially with securing adequate funding for working capital and accessing the market in both the public and private sectors.

“Supply chain issues, i.e. exorbitant prices for instruments, reagents and consumables, limited options in terms of the technology available in Namibia and extremely long lead times and limited awareness of the role of laboratory medicine in the industry impede opportunities and investment,” she said.

Another challenge, Uushona pointed out, is the high rental costs for commercial property.


2022-07-28  Loide Jason

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