13 Sep 2013 04:00
OPUWO, 13 SEP (NAMPA) Kunene Regional Governor Josua //Hoebeb has urged the community here, especially youngsters, to study medicine to address the chronic shortages of nurses and doctors.
He made the appeal in an interview with Nampa on Wednesday at the Opuwo District Hospital, where he witnessed more than 50 patients waiting to be seen by one doctor.
One resident there and then complained to //Hoebeb about having waited for two days to see a doctor after she was referred there from the Okangwati Health Centre.
The doctor on duty is actually from the Outjo District Hospital, relieving two colleagues who are on compassionate leave and a workshop, respectively.
The governor, who was accompanying Ambassador of Spain to Namibia, Carman Diez Orejas on an inspection visit to the hospital's new maternity ward, said if the children of Kunene are trained in the medical profession, they might come and assist their fellow brothers and sisters, as well as their parents here.
By doing so, the language barrier will also be overcome, //Hoebeb said, adding that translators are currently being used when foreign doctors and nurses treat patients here.
The Opuwo District Hospital has been experiencing a chronic shortage of nurses and doctors for the past 10 years now, a problem which is not easy to solve due to the limited number of medical personnel in the whole Namibia.
In his response to queries on health challenges in the region, the Director of Health in Kunene Thomas Shapumba told Nampa on Thursday that there are many challenges which need the assistance of all stakeholders to solve.
He said many of their problems can, however, be solved through education.
The Opuwo District Hospital only has two permanent doctors, who take care of all people referred to them from 21 different clinics and health centres in the region.
Only one of these 21 facilities is run by a registered nurse.
Shapumba indicated that medical vacancies are advertised every three months, but it seems no one is interested in working in this far-away north-western region.
The new maternity ward was constructed with funds from the Government of Spain.