The Chinese embassy in Namibia has assisted the government with another batch of medical supplies worth N$4.3 million as part of the fight against Covid-19. The donation was handed over to health officials in Windhoek yesterday.
The donated items include 150 000 surgical masks, 5 000 medical disposable protective clothing, 15 000 protective face masks for medical use, 7 000 medical protective goggles, 7 000 pairs of disposable sterilised rubber surgical gloves and 3 000 pairs of medical isolation shoe covers.
Speaking during the occasion, Chinese Ambassador to Namibia Zhang Yiming said the assistance vividly exhibits the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between China and Namibia.
“This assistance is part of the endeavours taken by China along with other countries all over the world to build a human health community,” he said. Receiving the donation, health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said as the Covid-19 cases surge in the country, there is a need for more isolation facilities to manage positive cases and to quarantine identified contacts of confirmed cases. In addition, he said more personal protective equipment (PPEs) are needed to ensure that health workers, rapid response teams and those manning quarantine and isolation facilities are protected from potential exposure.
“Obtaining these supplies from the outside market has been very challenging due to travel bans and restrictions worldwide. The ministry procured a number of these items as per the Covid-19 procurement plan and has also received donations from local and international partners, government and individual entities,” he explained. However, Shangula pointed out that most of these supplies and items are single-use. The stock has to be replenished frequently given the increasing number of cases.
“Our health workers and other frontline cadres are our most valuable assets. As a ministry, and in our efforts to safeguard the safety of the frontline cadres against the Covid-19 infection, the supply of sufficient stock of the correct PPEs is coupled with training of these cadres on infection prevention and control measures.
Prevention is the only weapon we have to fight this disease,” he further explained. Shangula added over the past few months, Namibia received technical support and capacity building through virtual training in surveillance and case management from China.