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On Wednesday, September 14th, Namib Laboratories had its grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the group's state of the art laboratory. The event was held on site at Namib Laboratory in a majestic event in the parking lot in Olympia. The event featured remarks by Jaco Labuschagne, General Manager of Feedmaster Namibia, and an introductory speech by Louise Clack, the Laboratory Manager.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services, board members, representatives of medical institutions, and the technical committee members attended the event. Namib Laboratories is a subsidiary entity of Feedmaster that was established in 2018 to conduct all microbiological, serological, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) related diagnostic tests for the Namib Mills group of companies.
The humble beginnings of this laboratory were born out of the frustration of local veterinary laboratory services, particularly concerning the poultry industry. The turnaround time of veterinary serology analyses for this industry are restricted to reacting to physical challenges, which could not be met with biological samples that had to be couriered across the border to laboratories in South Africa. "Feedmaster took the challenge to establish laboratory services to handle veterinary and microbiological analyses for Namib Poultry Industries and Namib Mills. From the start, Namib Lab. aimed to establish an internationally accredited independent laboratory, "Jaco Labuschagne stated."
Namib Laboratories soon realized a need to offer these services to Namibia's veterinarians and food service-related industries. In 2020 they offered their services to the ministry of health to do PCR COVID testing since Namib Laboratories had the equipment and skilled personnel, knowing there would be a "sunset" on this pandemic. The lab created 11 new job opportunities for Namibians with this venture. They employed the lab created 11 new job opportunities for Namibians lab created 11 new job opportunities for Namibians with this venture. They employed the services of experienced, highly skilled, and qualified key personnel, which Namib Laboratories regard as the business's biggest asset.
The vision is to revolutionize analytical and pathological laboratory services in Namibia. Most poultry related veterinary testing, including microscopy, bird vaccination programmes, and PCR tests for disease identification, can be handled by a team with sufficient expertise. Namib Laboratories are now testing for Trichomonas & Campylobacter in cattle, thanks to diversification in the agricultural sector. "Veterinarians have the opportunity to get in touch with us to talk about buying test kits for any procedures they frequently carry out; Louise Clack, the laboratory manager, informed the SADCAS has accredited ISO 17025 for most industrial microbiology and poultry serology testing at the lab. Namib Laboratories can enable manufacturing companies to perform blood and culture testing for the health of food handlers or employees. These tests include Hepatitis, Staphylococcus, Widal, and parasite screening. Clack stated that the clinical section is the latest division in the laboratory and the one Namib Laboratories is most passion ate about. Using
Beckman Coulter equipment, they can do all chemistry, immunochemistry, and hematology investigations. They are also capable of performing any microbiological cultures. They are currently talking with pathologists to join the team. They ca n consult with doctors about any results or other issues Namib Laboratories are also procuring the essential equipment and reagents for chemistry and water studies, and Namib Laboratories anticipate starting water tests soon. Once this equipment is in place, Namib Laboratories can do mineral studies on soil, feed, and feed source materials. Clack finished her speech with the following words: "Watch this space many more things are still to come." All members of the community and the public are welcome to vi sit and enquire regarding the lab's services at any time. Visit their web site at www.namiblab.com