With a fresh contribution of over N$1 million towards the Meatco Comprehensive Health Management Services and Outreach Project by the German Development Cooperation on Friday, Germany has now availed N$13 billion to Namibia in the past 26 years.
German Ambassador to Namibia Christian-Matthias Schlaga said this when he acted as one of the keynote speakers at the launch of the N$4 million programme, funded on a 50/50 basis – with N$2 million from Meatco, N$2 million from the Namibia Employers Federation (NEF) and the rest from the German government.
Schlaga stressed that Germany continues to work with grants, as well as loans, at very moderate interest rates, irrespective of the fact that the World Bank has rated Namibia as an upper middle-income country.
Meatco CEO Adv. Vekuii Rukoro stressed that the project aims to establish a sustainable and effective health management system that provides healthcare services to Meatco’s Windhoek factory staff and their dependents, as well as dependents of the staff in the supply chain to Meatco.
Acting permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Abraham Nehemia read a statement by Agriculture Minister John Mutorwa emphasing the role of the livestock and meat industry in agriculture in terms of rural stability, employment creation and generation of foreign revenue, saying the sector accounts for 80 percent of Namibia’s total agricultural production. He further stressed the importance of healthy workers.
In December 2014 Meatco Foundation acquired funding through a public-private partnership with the NEF, with back funding from the German Development Cooperation, for the implementation of Meatco’s Comprehensive Health Management Services and Outreach project.
The clinic now offers food handlers’ medicals, occupational healthcare services, wellness management and integrated health management solutions systems to about 550 Meatco factory employees. The project will run until December 2016 and upon completion lessons learned and recommendations will be generated for possible scalability.
The project includes an outreach programme that targets about 2 000 dependents of Meatco employees and 1 500 dependents of the supply chain (employees on the farms that supply Meatco with livestock), who will be offered wellness programmes and primary healthcare services by PharmAccess through the Mister Sister Service Health Mobile clinic.
In addition, the extension of Meatco’s health programme and services provides it with an opportunity to extend the benefits of its corporate social investment towards stakeholders and partners and improve productivity within the supply chain.
Meatco established a clinic at the Windhoek factory in 1990, with the aim of enhancing food safety, to provide primary healthcare services, as well as facilitate medical tests required for food safety and contracted a medical practitioner who visits the clinic twice a week with an industrial nurse employed on site who attends to first aid cases and conducts referrals.
The clinic went through the initial Safe Care assessment and was awarded a level 1 certificate, as per the Basic Health Care Standards.