Andrew Kathindi

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the country at an alarming rate, last week, Old Mutual handed over devices to the Ministry of Health and Social Services worth over N$900 000.

In a bid to continue supporting the fight against COVID-19, Old Mutual donated 35 Dell laptops and 37 Samsung tablets procured at a total cost of N$ 998 030.46 to capacitate the Ministry’s surveillance system capability based on the identified and prioritised needs at national, regional and district level during and after COVID-19.

“These laptops are each installed with Office Home software, Antivirus, a mouse and a clamshell bag. They were delivered on 11 June 2020 and have been deployed in the tracing value chain, feeding into the epidemiology function in the Ministry,” said Old Mutual Marketing and Communications Executive, Ndangi Katoma.

The donation is part of a N$5 million pledged by Old Mutual to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic in Namibia, with specific allocation to the value of N$1 million to provide food supplies to the poor and the vulnerable, N$2, 7 million for expanding COVID-19 testing capacity, and N$1, 3 million targeted pledge to contribute to the National Disaster Fund in order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

“What is very important to this intervention is that post COVID-19, the lead Ministry will still be able to use these laptop and tablets for other disease outbreaks. This will make data transmission easier in terms of using the laptops to capture data on contacts identified, keep the database, do analysis and produce outputs while tablets will be used to capture contact tracing data in the field,” said Katoma.

Minister of Health and Social Services, Kalumbi Shangula, who received the packages on behalf of his ministry, said with cases increasing, the donations came at the right time. He noted that his Ministry has deployed several rapid response teams in communities highly affected by COVID-19, especially the community of Walvis Bay for early identification and prompt response.

“It is gestures like these, from the international community, the private sector and from distinguished individuals that moves communities and countries out of adversities. We truly believe we shall overcome this public health threat,” said Shangula.