The Bank's Executive Officer of Marketing and Corporate Communication Services, Jacquiline Pack, handed over the donation to the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Kalumbi Shangula, at the Namibia Institute of Pathology's (NIP) head office in Windhoek. Through the Analytical Technology and Chemical Supply, the Bank, in collaboration with NIP, was able to procure the material despite logistical challenges posed by the pandemic.
“Since COVID-19 reached our borders, we realised that there was a need to ensure that testing takes place in Namibia. As connectors of positive change, we offered our support by donating this equipment to the Ministry. Our contribution will ensure that 500 Namibians receive testing as we continue to fight COVID-19," said Pack.
In his acceptance remarks on behalf of the Namibian Government, Dr Shangula said: “With this donation, Bank Windhoek joins a long list of Namibians who have contributed to the fight against COVID-19. We have a target that we have to reach as Namibians, and this donation of the testing materials will help us reach our goal. On behalf of the Ministry and NIP, we extend our profound gratitude to Bank Windhoek for demonstrating its care for Namibians. Thank you for this gesture."
The Reagent Testing Kits and Nasopharyngeal Swab Collection Kits will assist the Ministry's programme of expanding targeted testing to access the population's degree of the transmission. “NIP is our main stakeholder in carrying out this responsibility, but we have faced many difficulties in the supply of the testing material. I am happy that Bank Windhoek teamed up with NIP to ensure that this donation takes place," said Dr Shangula.
Pack added that the Bank was proud to have collaborated with NIP, who ensured that the procurement process was fast-tracked. "That was also a huge challenge. But we are now happy that more Namibians can get tested so that we can continue our efforts of ensuring that our small population remains healthy," she said.
Bank Windhoek's COVID-19 support thus far
Apart from assisting individual and commercial customers impacted with COVID-19 on a case-by-case basis, following confirmed COVID-19 cases in Namibia in March 2020, Bank Windhoek has prioritised its social initiatives towards addressing the challenges posed by the pandemic on the immediate environment.
In April, supported by Bank Windhoek, the Namibian Broadcasting Cooperation (NBC), started airing an awareness campaign, communicating relevant information about COVID-19 in all local vernaculars. The campaign will run for a period of three months on NBC's radio stations.
Earlier in May, Bank Windhoek and Capricorn Group collaborated in giving 13 water tanks, each with a capacity of 10 000 litres, to provide safe and clean water to residents of Moses ǁGaroëb and the Samora Michel Constituencies. The containers are filled regularly and serve the densely populated Constituencies, which have limited access to essential services such as potable water and electricity. “I am also impressed by the fact that Bank Windhoek has contributed to the supply of water, which is critically important not only for subsistence but in the fight against COVID-19, it is commendable," concluded Dr Shangula.