First National Bank Namibia donated a blood-gas analyser worth N$282 000 to the Windhoek Central Hospital's cardiac unit this month.
The unit, which treats children as well as adult patients, is fairly small but according to Dr Alfred Mureka the vision is to expand the unit.
He says sometimes the aging equipment become a limiting factor to service provision and that the blood-gas analyser, which they have been struggling with, is central to the management of critically ill cardiac patients.
The machine guides the doctors in treating patients by determining through a blood sample whether the patient needs to be put on a drip or to be ventilated.
The ministry of health will be responsible for the maintenance of the machine as well as ensuring that the doctors receive the necessary training.
Dr Mureka thanked the bank on behalf of the cardiac unit, saying that the unit had been using the same equipment since it opened in 2008.
“Sometimes this hinders our ability to provide services to the fullest. Getting support in this form will only help our service to do better,” he said.
Bolle Hans of FNB's public sector banking department said a new foundation is being built in public health despite the harsh economic times.
Hans urged other companies to join hands with the ministry of health and social services to address some of the health challenges being faced in the country.
“This is an indication that health is at the top of the agenda of the FirstRand Namibia Foundation Trust,” said Hans.
The executive director of the health ministry Ben Nangombe received the donation on behalf of the hospital's cardiac unit, which consists of eight sub-units.
He said the objective of the unit was “to provide affordable, quality cardiology services that cater to the needs of the Namibian nation; both private and state patients.”
He added that the donation complements the ministry's process of closing the gap in the provision of various health care services currently not available at health facilities, including paediatric intensive care units, and thanked FNB as a “partner in health” for aiding the ministry.
He concluded by applauding the team of doctors for their hard work as well as relieving the country of the financial strain that comes with having to send patients to other countries for treatment.