by Adam Hartman at Walvis Bay

THE Welwitschia Private Hospital at Walvis Bay and the Erongo Health Directorate last Thursday launched the Corona Care Campaign.

JOINT FORCES … Members of the Corona Care Campaign (from left), chief principal officer of the Erongo health directorate Dr Amir Shaker, CEO of Erongo Medical Group Matthias Braune, Erongo governor Cleophas Mutjavikua, Financial Consulting Services Walvis Bay audit partner Patterson Tjipueja and Erongo health director Anna Jonas at the launch of the public private partnership against Covid-19 last week. Photo: Adam Hartman

According to Erongo Medical Group chief executive officer Matthias Braune, under which the Welwitschia hospital’s management falls, the initiative is to coordinate efforts against the coronavirus between public and private health-care facilities at the coast, specifically at Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.

He said the initiative was spurred after the hospital received numerous calls from people requesting how they could support in this time of crisis, which may eventually hit Namibia.

To date, the country has only had three confirmed cases of the coronavirus and Braune commended the Namibian government for its quick response so far to prevent the virus from spreading and called on members of the public to assist as well.

“Doing so will enable us to put together a database,” said Braune, adding that a lot of consumables and equipment were especially required, such as monitoring and ventilator systems, as well as items such as masks and gloves and other protective gear.

To set an example, Welwitschia hospital recently donated 10 beds, mattresses and trolleys to the Walvis Bay State Hospital isolation ward.
Financial Consulting Services (FCS) was appointed as the independent auditor of any funds and the Corona Care Campaign was registered as a closed corporation under their supervision. This is to maintain accountability for the whole project.

Companies that donate will also receive donation certificates from the FCS, said Patterson Tjipueja of FCS. He added that they would provide the service free of charge in support of the government’s efforts to stop the spread of the virus in Namibia.

Erongo governor Cleophas Mutjavikua called on the fishing industry and mining companies to “make significant contributions” towards the Corona Care Campaign and help develop health facilities to prepare for the virus.

He also called on local authorities to ensure that residents have access to water during the crisis period at least, referring especially to large informal settlements that need access to water.

Residents are also urged to adhere to baseline precautionary measures, such as the washing of hands and staying clear of large crowds to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Erongo’s chief medical officer, Dr Amir Shaker, said the campaign would first focus on the hospitals at Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, as these were among the biggest centres, but it might develop to include other towns in the region.

Shaker added that the state hospitals are also arranging their hospital administrations to ensure the safety of patients and staff, and the efficient treatment of virus casualties. Visiting hours and arrangements will also be changed.

“Distancing is the best medicine at the moment,” he said. Individuals, businesses and institutions who wish to offer services, goods, time and money to stem the anticipated spread of Covid-19, can email to [email protected] to indicate their intentions.

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