12 Sep 2013 11:40
SWAKOPMUND, 12 SEP (NAMPA) - Health and Social Services Minister, Dr Richard Kamwi officially inaugurated the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) laboratory here on Thursday.
The inauguration of the building follows a ground-breaking ceremony for the building which was held at the tourist town on 08 June 2012.
The NIP provides medical laboratory services to both private and State patients.
Since its inception on 01 December 2000, the institute has taken over the complete network of medical laboratories formerly operated by the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
It has also expanded its services in terms of geographical coverage, as well as test repertoire, to most regional, district and referral hospitals.
The company operates 38 medical laboratories situated all over Namibia and employs over 400 staff members.
Addressing the inauguration, Kamwi said his ministry regards NIP as a strategic partner in all public and private health care efforts.
He indicated that the new laboratory is testimony to all the hard work, commitment, support and dedication made by everyone who contributed towards the building.
We as Government will do everything to create an enabling environment that ensures continued success in medical laboratory service provision, Kamwi noted.
He called on the Board members and management of NIP to continue opening more laboratories in order to make these essential services more accessible.
The minister further stated that his ministry relies heavily on the laboratory support of NIP for both diagnostic and public health testing, and expects accurate and timely results.
Also speaking during the event, NIPs acting Chief Executive Officer Harold Kaura explained that the growing challenge brought about by diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria has resulted in a dramatic increase in the use of NIP laboratories over the past few years.
As a result, this increased demand inevitably resulted in the introduction of more specialised and sophisticated procedures including new testing methodologies and different ways to utilise staff, Kaura noted.
He indicated that the expansion of NIPs molecular diagnostic section, which concentrates on the provision of molecular adult and paediatric HIV testing, is currently the only unit of its kind in Namibia.