Namibia's pathological capacity received a significant boost with the arrival and commissioning of world-class Japanese technology to improve and expedite blood tests, and to ensure adherence to international pathology standards in two of the three clinics operated by the Namibia Institute of Pathology.
At a ceremony last week, three blood analysers donated by the Government of Japan through its international cooperation agency, were officially presented to the Institute of Pathology. The equipment is supplied under the public private partnership programme of the Japanese government. The analysers are supplied by Sysmex Corporation, a leader world-wide in blood testing equipment. The analysers, worth around N$2.4 million, are installed at the central laboratory in Windhoek as well as the two regional laboratories in Oshakati and Rundu.
As part of the deal, Sysmex is providing on-site training and operational support bringing the Windhoek and Rundu laboratories up to the ISO 15189 standard with the Oshakati laboratory making steady progress also to achieve this certification. All the newly installed systems can be monitored online.
The Managing Director of Sysmex South Africa, Hans Hasenpflug, said the laboratories are supported, not only with top quality medical equipment, but also with the continuous supply of reagent, quality control measures, maintenance, and ongoing training.
The Japanese Ambassador to Namibia, HE Hideaki Harada, emphasised that this is only the first step in their support for state health services, saying "today's event is not the closure of the cooperation but only the beginning for further enhanced partnership and for Sysmex Corporation to bring more world-class technological resources to Namibia."
This sentiment was echoed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ben Nangombe, when he said that such cooperation will be expanded further beyond clinical testing.
Acting Chief Executive of the pathology institute, Ms Mekondjo Nghipandulwa, said "this collaboration has brought the institution one step closer to achieving its objective. "
Caption: Signing the partnership agreement for the supply of advanced medical equipment to Namibian state laboratories, from the left, Mr Shiro Nabeya, the local representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Mr Ben Namgombe, Permanent Secretary in the health ministry, Ms Mekondjo Nghipandulwa, acting Chief Executive of the Namibia Institute of Pathology, HE Hideaki Harada, Japan's Ambassador to Namibia, and Mr Kazuto Yoshikawa, the Vice President of Global Support at Sysmex Corporation.