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Walvis Bay Corridor Group to integrate Covid-19 Testing

Posted: 6 Aug 2021

The Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) and the Namibia Institute of Pathology, has been approved by the Namibia Medicines Regulatory Council to roll out Covid-19 Antigen testing at all its clinics around the country. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic had a direct impact on WBCG’s usual service offering, and the group resolved to integrate Covid-19 testing into its core wellness service activities in order to provide a comprehensive and relevant service.

According to Mr. Edward Shivute, Wellness Project Manager at WBCG, Covid-19 testing requires a collaborated effort with MoHSS, linkage with a national approved laboratory facility and other key stakeholders. For this reason, WBCG is aiming to support the MoHSS efforts to ensure that people who need to get tested for Covid-19 are afforded that chance as soon as possible, hence the WBCG is currently focusing on populations that would normally find it difficult to access Covid-19 testing at public health facilities. The targeted populations are long distance truck drivers, key populations who are currently on HIV treatment, private sector employees and WBCG Health Care Workers, who get exposed to Covid-19 while in the line of duty. The expansion of this service to other populations will further be explored and agreed with all the relevant stakeholders.

In addition, the WBCG will be supporting MoHSS’s Covid-19 national vaccination campaign in order to encourage more people to get vaccinated and achieve herd immunity. The WBCG has provided a mobile clinic that is currently being used for this campaign in the Erongo region.

Meanwhile, as part of its traditional package of health and wellness services, the WBCG continues to provide various biometric wellness screening services such as HIV testing, cholesterol, glucose screening, blood pressure measurements and prostate cancer screening as part of its efforts to ensure that people who are detected to have other medical conditions are linked to treatment services as soon as possible. The WBCG also provides clinical services including but not limited to primary health care, treatment and support services.

“The Covid-19 pandemic presented us with a reality none of us expected. It brought us much closer to each other than ever before, but most importantly it showed us how important health and wellness programmes are in all industries and communities,” said Mr. Shivute.

The WBCG’s Wellness Service objective is aligned to that of the MoHSS, which is to eradicate Covid-19 in Namibia and/or to mitigate its impact on the Namibian population. The WBCG remains committed to supporting the MoHSS in mitigating the burden on the public health sector.

The WBCG Wellness Service was launched in 2003, as an initiative for the transport and logistics industry to address the impact of HIV/AIDS and STI awareness among long-distance truck drivers, sex workers and cross-border communities. To date, the Wellness Services has received vast recognition and has expanded from only offering basic HIV/AIDS and STI’s services to providing comprehensive as well as cost effective health and wellness services to the broader Namibian population. This transformation came as a result of demand driven campaigns from both the public and private sector in Namibia. The WBCG health and wellness services contributes to the outcome results of the National Strategic Framework for HIV/AIDS Response in Namibia that is spearheaded by the MoHSS.