Opuwo angry at governor over hospital staff

10 Jun 2016 19:20pm
OPUWO, 10 JUN (NAMPA) – A very tense meeting between Governor of the Kunene Region, Angelika Muharukua and members of the Opuwo community took place at Otjouje village on Thursday, where a former minister had to intervene and calm the crowd.
The meeting came after the community wrote a letter to the governor in which they requested a visit and explanation of what she had said over the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation’s Otjiherero radio service regarding the people of the Kunene going to Tsandi Hospital for medical treatment.
Members of the community were so furious at Muharukua that former minister of Environment and Tourism, Uahekua Herunga had to intervene and calm the situation.
According to community member Hungu Katundu, treatment at the Opuwo District Hospital is very bad, which is why patients prefer to travel the 151 kilometres to Tsandi in the Omusati Region for medical treatment.
“When we go to Tsandi, the nurses there treat us like people compared to the treatment we get in Opuwo. If the services at the hospital in Opuwo are bad, then they are and we can’t pretend that it is not,” Katundu maintained.
Muharukua is of the view that Kunene residents going to a hospital at Tsandi will jeopardise the region’s request for more doctors.
“The medical staff at Tsandi hospital will be outnumbered because of people from Kunene going there and doctors may be sent there instead of to Opuwo,” Muharukua told Nampa at the meeting.
The community, however, maintained that the attitude of nurses at the Opuwo District Hospital is what is pushing them away.
“It takes us almost a month in Opuwo to see a doctor while it takes us only hours to see a doctor at Tsandi,” said a community member.
The attitude of the nursing staff at the Opuwo District Hospital is a problem to most patients.
“We now are afraid of going to the hospital because of the attitude of the nurses. Some patients have physically fought nurses because of this,” said Uakatara Tjijombo, a community activist from Oukongo village.
Chairperson of the Kunene Regional Council, Julius Kaujova in an earlier interview with Nampa said the attitude of nurses at the hospital in Opuwo needs to be addressed.
Muharukua promised to arrange a meeting with the health director in Kunene soon to address this issue.
Nurses’ attitude working at public health facilities in Namibia is not a new problem and some nurses have made headlines for mistreating patients.
Ministers of health over the past years have appealed to Namibia’s nursing staff to have respect for patients and to value their job that is important to the well-being of Namibian citizens.
Nurses on the other hand tend to complain of being short-staffed, overworked and most of the time not having a fully functioning and adequate working environment.