A GERMAN support group, Support, e.V, together with their Namibian partners, the Ohorongo Otavi Community Trust, on wednesday donated medical equipment worth more than N$2,3 million to the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
The equipment, donated by German nationals through the Support e.V team, consisted of crucial medical equipment such as vital signs monitors, operating theatre tables, suction apparatuses and anaesthetic machines.
Modern hospital clothing and 16 children's cots, a gynaecological examination chair, mammographic screening equipment, secretion suction apparatuses and other equipment formed part of the donation.
Professor Heinz Maier, the acting president of the Support e.V group based in Ulm, Germany, said the philosophy of the group is to provide medical aid to countries who need it.
"Now our focus is on Namibia," he said.
In addition, the Ohorongo Otavi Community Trust, Support e.V and the Ministry signed a technical co-operation agreement, which will guide future medical assistance projects countrywide and at Otavi in particular.
Health Minister Richard Kamwi said the agreement would focus on mutual support, "by way of raising of awareness on issues", especially in regard to HIV and communicable diseases.
Kamwi said apart from equipment shortages, the Namibian health system is chronically understaffed, and the Ministry welcomes any health specialists from Germany who could lend temporary support to Namibia.
Professor Maier said the agreement "paves the way for a number of projects we look forward to tackling. It is only in co-operation with the Ministry that we can make a difference to the people of Otavi."
During the past two years, the Support e.V group, with the help of the Ohorongo Otavi Community Trust, has donated over N$1 million to health projects at the Otavi Health Clinic.
This week, the Otavi Health Clinic celebrated the completion of renovations at the clinic, including freshly painted wards, a repaired roof, new medical equipment and appliances. The project, funded by the Ohorongo Otavi Community Trust and Support e.V, cost approximately N$300 000.
In addition, the clinic last year received hospital beds worth N$700 000 from the German support group.
Another project at the Otavi Health Clinic makes sun protection items, such as hats, sunglasses and sunscreen, available to albinos.