Omungunda villagers complain about lack of medication

05 Nov 2015 11:10am
OPUWO, 05 NOV (NAMPA) - Villagers living in Omungunda in the Kunene Region allege that the Otjiu clinic sometimes goes without supplies of medicine for two to three weeks.
Otjiu is situated 20 kilometres (km) from Omungunda village, which in turn is some 100km away from Opuwo.
Villagers made the claims while speaking to Nampa on Tuesday during a media tour of the Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS) in the region.
The headman of Omungunda, Josef Mbanguha said some of the villagers went to the clinic on Monday and were apparently told there was no medication. The villagers said they were told to come back next week.
The village is made up of 10 homesteads.
Mbanguha further alleged that sometimes when people go to the clinic for treatment, there are no nurses to attend to them.
“This issue is not new in this area. People regularly go there only to be told there is no medicine. We really don't know what is happening,” said the headman.
He however praised the government for providing health extension workers to the area. Health extension workers usually work in health centres and medically underserved areas.
Their chief roles are to identify health problems in communities through house-to-house visits, to do referrals and to report back to clinics.
Mbanguha explained that if someone in his village falls ill, he asks other villagers to contribute money towards fuel so that person can be taken to the clinic.
“If there is not enough money for fuel, people are forced walk to the clinic which is about 20 kilometres from our village,” he said.
He also said his people sometimes walk for about a week to reach the hospital if they are sick.
Approached for comment, the Director of Health in the Kunene Region, Thomas Shapumba rubbished the allegations, telling Nampa there is no such thing in his region.
Shapumba said it could be that medication for certain specific illnesses are not stocked at the clinic.
“In Namibia there are no health facilities that possess all medicines, and that is why we do referrals to hospitals,” he said.
Shapumba further indicated that it is not possible for a clinic that is certified to operate to do so without medicine.
“That is their political issue. All clinics in the entire Kunene Region are qualified to have certain medicines and they all have medicine,” he said.