Health facilities handed over at southern border

25 September 2020 | Infrastructure

Ariamsvlei • Elizabeth Joseph

The Anglo American Namibia Foundation (AANF) in partnership with the DeBeers Group officially handed over and inaugurated brand new port health facilities at the Ariamsvlei / Noordoewer border today.
The facilities are valued at N$4.4 million and include two pre-fabricated health facilities and fully furnished air conditioned rooms stocked with medical equipment and supplies.
According to AANF project coordinator Richard Cook, official discussions about constructing the facilities started mid-April this year where after the process started at in May and ran for about four months. “Some Covid-19 regulations yielded difficulties and delays with getting the pre-fabricated units over the border,” he said. Thereafter the necessary permits from all parties had to be acquired.
The new facilities cover screening and testing and consists of four fully furnished isolation units, should a case arise where an individual tests positive for Covid-19.
Stakeholders involved in this initiative are the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the //Kharas regional council, the DeBeers group and the AANF.
“We are proud of this venture as it is the first of its kind on the Namibian / South African border,” AANF trustee, Wolfgang Teichert, said.

Safety
DeBeers and Anglo American also constructed a police guard house with an ablution facility about 500 meters from the facilities.
“We have to ensure that a certain level of order is maintained while the facilities are being used,” Cook said.
At the inauguration, //Kharas regional governor Aletta Fredericks applauded frontline workers for putting their lives on the line in the fight against Covid-19.
By 24 September, the //Kharas region recorded by 33 confirmed cases and four deaths, of which 62% entered through the Ariamsvlei / Noordoewer border.
“We appreciate the good work the //Kharas region has been doing,” health minister Kalumbi Shangula said at the event. “I hope this facility will be fully utilized and that travellers won’t see it as a hold up. We want to look back a few years from now and be proud that we played a part in combating Covid-19.”
Although it’s taking travellers longer than usual to cross the border, Cook said this is mainly because the facility staff want to ensure that each person gets the care they deserve.
The AANF and the DeBeers Group said that they will continue providing dedicated CSI support to disadvantaged Namibian communities in need. – [email protected]

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