America donates face shields and swabs to support Namibia’s fight against COVID-19

From the left are Tjirimejo Mbaha and Eunice Christians from the National Institute for Pathology receiving the swabs from Dr. Suzanne Beard from the Centers for Disease Control in Namibia.

Windhoek – The U.S. Embassy in Namibia has donated 11,000 face shields and 3,000 nasal testing swabs packaged with specimen transport media tubes to the Ministry of Health and Social Services and the Namibia Institute of Pathology.

The donation is part of the N$100 million donation to fight COVID-19 that was announced by the U.S. Embassy in April.  The U.S. Embassy will continue to provide personal protective equipment and laboratory equipment to Namibia through this funding.

The nasal testing swabs are accompanied by specimen transport media that enables the sample to be collected and transported for testing.  The swab pack provides a much-needed sample collection system that is in short supply worldwide.  This type of swab is the main specimen collection type used in COVID-19 testing and is the first step to obtaining a laboratory result.

Face shields should be worn in addition to a mask and are primarily worn to protect the eyes of the person wearing it.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that face shield wearers wash their hands before and after removing the face shield and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth when removing it.  Reusable face shields should be cleaned and disinfected after each use according to manufacturer instructions or by following CDC face shield cleaning instructions.

“Healthcare workers are on the frontline in our fight against COVID-19 and can be at increased risk of infection compared to the general public.  The U.S. Embassy is pleased to provide face shields to improve the personal protection of healthcare workers against infection from the virus.  This is one of the ways that we are thanking and valuing the healthcare workers of Namibia,” said Ambassador Lisa Johnson.

“The virus is still present in Namibia and targeted testing is critical to ensure that the virus is not spreading to vulnerable people in the community.  The donation of swabs provides more resources to ensure that testing continues, making sure that we find cases when they occur and keep our communities safe,” continued Ambassador Johnson.

Namibia is currently reporting an overall decline in the number of COVID-19 cases.  However, some regions are still seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases and high percent positive among those tested.  The U.S. Embassy is pleased to support Namibia to protect the gains it has made in stopping the spread of the virus through these donations and through personal actions.  The actions all people can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 include keeping our distance from each other, avoiding crowded indoor spaces and ensuring indoor spaces are properly ventilated, washing our hands frequently with soap and running water or with an alcohol-based sanitizer, and wearing a face mask.