Staff Writer

The Anglo American Namibia Foundation (AANF) and De Beers Group, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, have announced the opening of new health screening facilities at the Ariamsvlei and Noordoewer port border posts in southern Namibia, to support country’s efforts to protect citizens from the spread of Covid-19.

The upgrading and construction of the facilities at the two main port border posts with South Africa cost a total of  N$ 4.4 million.

The AANF and De Beers Group worked together with the Ministry of Health and Social Services to establish the facilities, which have been designed for screening, testing and isolation purposes, and which can be used for general health screening after the pandemic.

In addition to establishing and fully furnishing the facilities -which include dedicated areas to safely isolate suspected Covid-19 cases immediately if required -the areas surrounding the facilities were also upgraded.

“We are very pleased to be assisting Namibia to help combat the spread of Covid-19 through establishing these two dedicated screening facilities at key border posts. These facilities will play an important role in the early identification of potential cases of Covid-19, ensuring any suspected cases can be immediately and safely handled in the appropriate manner to prevent further spread of the virus,” Richard Cook, Foundation Coordinator of the Anglo American Namibia Foundation said.

De Beers Group Resident Director, Daniel Kali, expressed his appreciation to the Ministry of Health and the Anglo-American Namibia Foundation for their collaboration to make this venture possible.

“We will continue to play our part in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, standing shoulder to shoulder with the people of Namibia in these most difficult times. This is what true partnership is all about and we are deeply proud of our longstanding partnership with the people of Namibia and are committed to facing this challenge together,” he said.

Anglo American and De Beers Group’s ability to leverage their global supply chains to procure sought-after screening equipment, and their commitment to working collaboratively with governments to help address the spread of the virus, was instrumental in supporting the establishment of the facilities.

The announcement by the two companies, forms part of De Beers Group’s previously communicated N$15 million in-kind pledge to support Namibia’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which to date has also included the establishment of a Covid-19 testing laboratory in partnership with the University of Namibia School of Medicine and donating a Covid-19 testing machine to the Namibia Institute of Pathology.