23 Feb 2014 15:00pm
OPUWO, 23 FEB (NAMPA) The first private clinic owned by a local woman opened in Opuwo on Friday.
The clinic is called the Ikondua Health Services and Mobile Clinic, and brings the number of private clinics in the town to three.
It is located behind the Opuwo State Hospital in the Ozombaba location, while the other two are located within town.
The new clinic was officially opened by the Deputy Minister of Youth, National Services, Sports and Culture Juliet Kavetuna.
She said the Ikondua Health Services and Mobile Clinic was born out of hard work and dedication.
This new clinic should not be seen as competition, but as a complementary service provider for the community of Opuwo, said Kavetuna.
She urged the people of the Kunene Region to take pride in the new clinic, as it is the creation of a daughter of the soil from the great Kunene Region.
Owner, Ikondua Kainango Muhenje, 35, told Nampa on Friday the idea of having her own clinic was initiated in 2010, following the chronic shortage of nurses at the State clinics.
I had a choice of opening up a similar facility in Windhoek due to the high population and clients there compared to Opuwo, but the need of the people of Opuwo called louder. Also, I want to serve my people, she said.
Muhenje started her nursing career in 1997 as part of 15 nursing trainees from the Kunene Region called by Government to serve their people. After graduating as an enrolled nurse, she furthered her studies at the University of Namibia, where she graduated as a Registered Nurse in 2004.
She worked at the Roman Catholic Hospital, Rhino Park Hospital, Namibia Planned Parenthood Association, and Momentum Life Namibia in Windhoek.
Renovating the clinic and buying equipment cost about N.dollars 200 000, which she funded herself.
Muhenje said the clinic will have a private doctor in March this year.
She was born at the Orumana Village, about 35 kilometres south of Opuwo, and brought up at the Okorosave village near Opuwo.
Muhenje attended primary school in Opuwo, and completed Grade 12 at Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region.
I was bothered by the fact that I did not serve my community enough after I was trained by Government to do so. However, I also did not just want to join the State hospitals due to a shortage of registered nurses, as I felt I would not make a difference at all, she noted.
Muhenje decided to open a private clinic to give the community more choice of where to get health services, and create employment at the same time.
The owners of the two other clinics here, Dr David Uirab and Dr Munyaradzi Nyamutora welcomed the new clinic.
However, Uirab told Nampa that clients in Opuwo and Kunene North are able to carry only two private clinics profitably, and adding a third clinic in a small place like Opuwo, where most clients are civil servants, will affect their clientele.
He said this is also due to the reduction in the number of visits civil servants can make to private health centres per year. It reduced to only 10 visits from unlimited visits last year.