• May 27th, 2019
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Chinese firm donates Hepatitis E diagnostic kits

Staff Reporter

WINDHOEK – The Chinese owned Namax pharmaceuticals donated 8 000 Hepatitis E rapid diagnostic kits worth N$200 000 to the Ministry of Health and Social Services, to help combat Hepatitis E outbreaks.

The rapid tests are certified by the European Union and are fully compliant with Namibian medical standards, explained Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, who has this year made numerous donations to learning institutions and destitute families. 

One of the recipients of Chinese generosity is the University of Namibia that this year received a cash injection of N$300 000 to support the establishment of a multi-functional science research and development centre. It also previously availed N$254 000 to the Organisation for the Empowerment of Widows/Widowers and Orphans of HIV and Aids (OEWENA).

Also, in its quest to assist Namibian trainee workmen, the Chinese Embassy previously donated 20 desktop computers worth N$200 000 to the Windhoek Vocational Training Centre (WVTC). It has also availed funding to numerous Namibian schools to help learners.

The rapid testing kits will enable Namibian medical practitioners to perform rapid onsite tests within 10 minutes, Zhang said on Monday.  

“Most blood samples in Namibia have to be sent and tested in South Africa and the result can only be received after two weeks,” he said.

The donation was not the first from Namax to the Namibian people, Zhang said. Last year, the company donated World Health Organisation (WHO)-Pre-Certified Anti-Malaria medicines, the ambassador pointed out.  Further, the Chinese Embassy in Namibia also donated pre-fabricated toilets worth N$460 000 recently to the Namibian people.

“The toilets have been installed and are fully operational at the Tobias Hainyeko Constituency in Windhoek. The toilets have well-established water supply and drainage pipelines, equipped with flush systems and washbasins, which will improve hygienic conditions of the community and block the spread of Hepatitis E from the beginning,” said the ambassador. The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Bernard Haufiku who received the donations said as of December 2, this year, there are close to 4000 cases of Hepatitis E in the country. The affected regions are Khomas with 2771 cases, Erongo with 880 cases, Omusati with 144 and Oshana with 79 cases. The Oshikoto Region recorded 47, Ohangwena 41 cases, Otjozondjupa five cases and the two Kavango regions recorded 37 cases.

Haufiku said the gaps identified are inadequate laboratory capacity in terms of testing supplies, inadequate social mobilisation and community engagement, poor sanitation and hygiene practices, especially in the informal settlements and educational message through the mass media. 

“Every person has to take responsibility for their own health and exercise basic hygiene and sanitation practices such as handwashing and safe disposal of human faeces,” said the minister.

Staff Reporter
2018-12-20 09:26:14 5 months ago

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