U.S. Embassy Donates Ambulances, Medical Equipment for COVID-19 Response

The U.S. Ambassador to Namibia, Lisa Johnson, and the Executive Director in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ben Nangombe, bump elbows at the handover of three ambulances and medical equipment to assist with the response to COVID-19.

March 19, 2020 – Today, U.S. Ambassador Lisa Johnson handed over to the Ministry of Health and Social Services three ambulances, hospital beds, and other medical equipment to help Namibia in the fight against COVID-19.

Ambassador Johnson joined Health Ministry Executive Director Ben Nangombe as the ambulances and equipment were offloaded from shipping containers at the Ministry.  The Ministry intends to use this donation to support MOHSS isolation facilities where the Ministry feels the need is greatest.

“This is a donation from the United States Department of Defense’s humanitarian assistance program,” said Ambassador Johnson at the Ministry today.  In addition to the three ambulances, the Ministry received 25 hospital beds, nine stretchers, and other supplies for isolation units.  In total, the donation is valued at over N$ 2 million.

“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, is working side-by-side with the Namibian government on its COVID-19 response,” said Dr. Eric Dziuban, director of the CDC office in Namibia.  “We have six members of our CDC team working full-time on the COVID-19 response led by the Ministry of Health.”

“Right now, we are all focused on preventing the spread of COVID.  Everyone should wash your hands regularly, try not to touch your face, and try to keep some space between you and others. Most importantly, stay away from others if you are sick,” explained Dr. Dziuban.

The United States has committed more than USD 100 billion over the last 20 years to support public health on the African continent – by far the largest contribution by any donor nation.  U.S. public health assistance to Africa includes over USD 1.1 billion to Namibia, mainly through the President’s Emergency Fund for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) program.