Health facilities handed over at southern border

29 September 2020 | Health

ELIZABETH JOSEPH

ARIAMSVLEI



The Anglo American Namibia Foundation (AANF), in partnership with the De Beers Group, have inaugurated new health facilities at the Ariamsvlei and Noordoewer border posts.

The facilities are valued at N$4.4 million and include two pre-fabricated buildings and fully furnished, air-conditioned rooms stocked with medical equipment and supplies. According to AANF project coordinator Richard Cook, discussions about constructing the facilities started in mid-April.

“Some Covid-19 regulations yielded difficulties and delays with getting the pre-fabricated units over the border,” he said. The new facilities offer Covid-19 screening and testing and provide isolation units, should an individual test positive.

Stakeholders involved in this initiative are the ministry of health and social services, the //Karas regional council, the De Beers 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

De Beers and Anglo American also constructed a police guardhouse with a toilet about 500 metres from the facilities. At the inauguration, //Karas regional governor Aletta Fredericks applauded frontline workers for putting their lives on the line in the fight against Covid-19.

By 24 September, the

//Karas Region had recorded 33 confirmed Covid cases and four deaths, of whom 62% had entered through the Ariamsvlei and Noordoewer border posts.

“We appreciate the good work the //Karas Region has been doing,” health minister Kalumbi Shangula said at the event.

“I hope this facility will be fully utilised 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.

[email protected]

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