TB Consortium MoU inked

08 February 2019 | Health

Elizabeth Joseph

On 31 January, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed for the establishment of the TB Consortium by the Namibian University of Science and Technology (Nust), the health ministry, the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP), the University of Stellenbosch and the N/a’ankuse Foundation.

Among the guests was Nust vice-chancellor Tjama Tjivikua who highlighted the importance of holding hands to fight the ever-growing disease of tuberculosis.

“In Namibia we have a high TB rate, recording over 10 000 cases. TB significantly affects our economic growth and we need to come together to find a lasting solution.

“I am particularly excited by the prospects for funding opportunities, the creation or access to state-of-the-art infrastructure in TB diagnostics, management and research, and the offering of TB-focused postgraduate training and professional development to students, as well as staff and student exchanges and mentorship opportunities,” Tjivikua said.

Consequently, Namibia will understand the TB disease burden better, including the roles and impact of drug-resistant TB and the associated health challenges in Namibia, he said.

Dr Sehaam Khan, who is the dean of the Nust faculty of health and applied sciences, said although the MoU was only signed by five parties, it is not an exclusive agreement and they are waiting for more members to join the initiative.

Health ministry executive director Ben Nangombe said although starting the consortium was difficult, he is proud to see it reaching these heights.

“I believe that everyone has already said everything. If we continue to work together, as we did when we started, then even the sky wouldn’t be the limit,” Nangombe said.

The MoU was signed at the health ministry’s offices.

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