ALTHOUGH the Namibian Government had to take the lead in combating the spread of COVID-19 in Namibia, a large percentage of the responsibility also falls to the community to assist wherever they can to enhance the capability and capacity to deal with the growing number of positive cases in especially the Erongo Region.
Neville Andre, the Governor of the Erongo Region during the official inauguration of the recently completed Kondja Isolation Ward at the Walvis Bay District Hospital said the assistance of the private sector is highly appreciated when funding to construct and maintain new facilities are made available.
He said that the funding and provision of technical abilities by Namdock and other stakeholders in the Erongo Community Care initiative to convert garages and an old tuberculosis isolation ward into a brand new COVID-19 isolation ward went a long way in expanding capacity and capability in the region.
He indicated that the inauguration of Kondja Isolation Ward represents the completion of the first phase of providing isolation facilities in the region and especially in Walvis Bay where the majority of new cases in Namibia tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV2.
“The sharp spike in cases meant that the regional disaster management body had to go looking for additional isolation facilities,” he said.
One such facility is the National Youth Centre in Henties Bay where up to 700 people can be accommodated and managed effectively by a handful of health officials.
The regional governor indicated that the spillover of the less serious cases, which did not present with any symptoms, have been sent to the facility on the outskirts of Henties Bay. He said that people with mild symptoms are therefore isolated closer to available medical help at the hospital in case their clinical condition takes a turn for the worse.
“The continued support of the private sector in establishing increased capacity with better facilities will always be appreciated. It is only as responsible citizens of the country that we would be able to eventually be able to top the virus,” he said.
Governor Andre said that although Namdock is best known for working on huge projects when they repair ships from around the world also means that the people of the region now know that the can rely on the wealth of technical abilities and ingenuity from a concentrated pool of specially skilled people.
“The reconfiguration of old infrastructure into a brand new facility is a tangible testament to that,” he said.
The acting Chief Executive Officer of Namdock, Heritha Nankole Muyoba, who also serves as the chairperson of the Erongo Corona Care initiative (ECC), said that it was a privilege for the company to contribute towards the containment and effective management of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Besides the project at the new Kondja Isolation Ward Nankole Muyoba said the company conducted an assessment of the Covid-19 readiness and capacity situation in the rest of the Erongo Region where similar projects will be tackled soon.
“We have undertaken a regional assessment on infrastructure and resource requirements. The report was submitted and we are waiting for direction from the relevant authorities,” she said.
Upon receiving the keys to the new facility while patients already in mandatory isolation looked on through the windows of the new ward Doctor Martha Ntinda, the acting senior medical officer of the Walvis Bay District Hospital, said that she and her staff will take care of it and optimise the facility to benefit the people for which it was intended.