05 Jul 2013 05:40
WINDHOEK, 05 JUL (NAMPA) ? The Minister of Health and Social Services has complained that he still sees some Namibians with health-related challenges appearing on national television asking for assistance, whilst his ministry has a Special Fund to assist such Namibians.
Responding to questions posed by Rally for Democracy and Progress? (RDP) Member of Parliament (MP) Clara Gowases here on Thursday, Dr Richard Kamwi said he had spoken to the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) to assist the ministry in such incidences, but such stories are still being televised.
Gowases asked the minister about the recent story on NBC-TV about a baby who was born without eyes, and whose parents do not have money for specialist operations.
?I personally spoke to NBC to assist us to inform these parents. I even made a follow-up and they were informed, but still they went ahead to ask for some more assistance,? he explained.
The NBC also reported on a woman by the name of Loide Iyambo from Rundu, whom Gowases said was diagnosed with heart-related problems and is now in need of surgery, but on her medical report doctors apparently wrote that there are currently no funds available for surgery.
Kamwi responded that that situation is unfortunate, adding that he does not know how true it is.
To this end, he said, his ministry?s finances are still good, and the Special Fund has N.dollars 12 million available.
?We have, on many occasions, informed the nation about the Cardiac Unit in this country, which is one of the state-of-the-art units that we have in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region,? he stated.
The minister said the unit is up-and-running, and his ministry also has a Public Relations? Office to publicise the existence of the Fund.
?From September 2012 to May 2013, a total number of 117 patients have benefited from the Special Fund, with 63 of these patients referred to different health facilities in Cape Town, South Africa for operations of various complications that the country is not able to treat,? he noted.
Another 35 patients were referred to the Windhoek Kidney Dialysis Centre for Haemodialysis, also with the assistance of the Fund.
?The recent beneficiary, as you all may be aware, is a baby who was born with four limbs. The baby was successfully operated on in South Africa, and is back in Namibia. This operation cost the fund N.dollars 500 000,? he stated.
The minister said if a patient presents him or herself to a clinic and the health workers there cannot treat the condition of that patient, such patient will have to be referred to a health centre or district hospital.
If the next level for instance is the Windhoek Central Hospital, and if at that level the patient is unable to be treated, a specialist there will identify where the patient could be treated, and at what cost.
?This means that only specialists at the WCH can apply for financial assistance from the Special Fund,? Kamwi stressed.