NIP's 'Za Tuka' delivering success
Niita Evaristus

NIP's 'Za Tuka' delivering success

Two years ago, the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) embarked on an ambitious transformation journey with its integrated strategic business plan (ISBP) 2022-2027, aptly named 'Za Tuka', which translates to "the plane has taken off" in Rukwangali. This five-year plan has already demonstrated its worth, yielding significant progress towards its goals of optimising shareholder value and solidifying NIP's role as a leading force in Namibia's healthcare landscape.

The importance of an efficient laboratory service in a functional health service system cannot be overstated. In fact, 70% of clinical treatment decisions are predicated on laboratory results, according to research. This underscores the critical role of a proficient pathology service within the medical community. NIP, with its 23-year track record in the pathology industry, is an essential and indispensable player in this regard.

'Za Tuka' signifies NIP's commitment to reinvention, with operational excellence at the core of its operations. The NIP leadership understands its dual responsibility: Serving public health needs while ensuring financial viability. The 'Za Tuka' plan addresses both aspects through strategic goals.

Key successes of this transformational agenda include the implementation of a Hub-Spoke-Node model, which will see the establishment of six regional centres of excellence (CoEs) specialising in various medical laboratory disciplines. The first CoE - the Molecular Medicine CoE - is expected to open its doors in 2025.

NIP has also acknowledged the need to replace ageing equipment. A five-year equipment replacement plan has already delivered over 54 instruments, with more expected in the current financial year. To address supply chain and stock management challenges, a specialist was recruited in January.

NIP's commitment to quality is reflected in its continuous investment in international accreditation. The institute also transitioned to a new web-based laboratory information system (Meditech Expanse) on 1 April, allowing for improved access to patient results.

Looking ahead, NIP is pursuing a scientific research agenda, which is critical for determining effective treatments for patients, discovering novel treatments and maintaining its leadership position in medical laboratory technology and research.

As a leading medical laboratory service provider, NIP takes immense pride in the quality of its services and its role in saving lives and reducing the disease burden in Namibia. Through continuous innovation, knowledge dissemination and dedication to exceptional service, NIP aspires to elevate the overall health and well-being of all Namibians. The 'Za Tuka' transformation journey is well underway, and the future looks bright for NIP and the Namibian healthcare sector.

**Niita Evaristus is the chief strategy and business development officer at the Namibia Institute of Pathology.


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