Namibia Receives 200 Medical Emergency Beds to Support COVID-19 Response

At the handover ceremony from L to R: Amb. Penda Naanda, Executive Director, MICRO_Namibia; Jessica Long, U.S. Embassy Charge d'Affaires; Ben Nangombe, Executive Director, MoHSS; Jeremiah Nghipundjwa, Director of Policy Planning, MoHSS; McDonald Homer, USAID Country Representative.

Windhoek –  The Ministry of Health and Social Services received today 200 new medical emergency beds following a months-long cooperation on the initiative by the U.S. Embassy in Namibia and the Namibian Embassy in the U.S.

The Ministry will distribute the beds to four health facilities in support of Namibia’s COVID-19 response:  Katutura Hospital, Okahandja Hospital, Onandjokwe Hospital, and Karasburg District Hospital.  Several beds will also be stored, so they can be moved at short notice to whichever facility requires them most when the need arises.

The beds were sourced by the Namibian Ambassador to the United States, Honorable Margaret Mensah-Williams from the American NGO “Project C.U.R.E.” and shipped to Namibia by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through their EQUIP Project managed by the non-profit organization “Right to Care.”

The beds are specially designed for medical emergencies and to accommodate patients in respiratory distress, including vented patients. They have a low height mattress and an attached pole for uninterrupted intravenous therapy.

Today, Jessica Long, the U.S. Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires, joined Executive Director of the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, Ambassador Penda Naanda and Executive Director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services Ben Nangombe to deliver the beds to the Ministry of Health.

“Today’s event is another sign of how the partnership between the United States and Namibia keeps the people in Namibia better prepared for future health crises,” said Chargé Long.  “I want to encourage everyone again to get vaccinated against COVID-19.  The Ministry of Health and Social Services, supported by the U.S. government through the PEPFAR program, has demonstrated determination and commitment to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic and has clearly shown the same responsibility towards ending the COVID-19 pandemic.  You can trust the MOHSS and us when we say that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.”

USAID’s Country Representative in Namibia McDonald Homer commented, “The U.S. Government has worked with Project C.U.R.E. on numerous other projects in the past, and we are excited to facilitate the transportation of these beds from the United States to Namibia to respond to possible future COVID-19 patients.”

Together with partner organizations, the U.S. Embassy has been supporting the Health Ministry’s COVID-19 response since March 2021.  USAID has previously procured personal protective equipment and 70 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, which were distributed to eight Namibian hospitals last year.