The Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) has prepared all its systems in readiness and response to any outbreak that may require its services.

The institute has an annual test performance of approximately three million.

NIP's capacity was tested to the limit following the outbreak of COVID-19, especially in light of what was to follow when Namibia reported its first case in 2020.

The majority of the population, not to mention the dependence on its services, and faced with an urgent call to action necessitated the swift implementation of testing protocols while prioritising the safety of its team. 

The Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer at NIP, Niita Evaristus, shared insights on the institution's experience during the pandemic.

"During COVID-19, NIP really had to act fast in the sense that we needed to implement testing protocols and, most importantly, ensure the safety of our team and that of the patients. Our team's dedication to responding to the pandemic nationally was truly inspiring, and they really worked tirelessly to process high volumes of COVID-19 testing. Mind you, NIP was the only laboratory performing COVID-19 testing, so at the time, it was only done in Windhoek. As time went by, with the various stakeholders, NIP was able to expand its testing capacity to six strategic locations countrywide."

NIP boasts a test menu comprising over 1,000 laboratory tests, with an annual performance of approximately 3 million tests. 

The institute serves 82% of the population and operates 36 laboratories spread across all 14 regions.

It provides services to 31 district hospitals as well as over 400 public healthcare centres, which makes NIP the largest pathology service provider in the country.

"NIPs standards are aligned with global standards, so our labs have quality management systems that comply with international standards. And 14 of our laboratories are internationally recognised by the Southern African Community Service (SARCAS). With this, our agenda of quality is to be able to provide reliable and timely diagnostic services so that we can provide patient care and, most importantly, safe lives."

NIP recently acquired 18 vehicles to enhance its service delivery capability for samples.

"The 18 vehicles that were procured are not limited to the NP Nissan bakkies but rather include other models. The investment of $11 million really includes vehicle costs, finance costs, repair and maintenance, and vehicle tracking systems, so these vehicles are to improve the sufficiency of our specimen transportation."

Evaristus emphasised the importance of maintaining relevance in their operations.

Photo Credits
The Namibian


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