01 Oct 2013 05:40
KEETMANSHOOP, 01 OCT (NAMPA) The deficit of registered nurses in Namibia is also affecting the //Karas Region, which faces a shortage of 27 registered nurses and nine enrolled nurses.
Statistics obtained from the office of the Acting Regional Director of Health at Keetmanshoop, Job Ndile show that the Karasburg Health District tops the list, with a deficit of 14 unfilled posts of registered nurses.
The same district, which covers settlements such as Ariamsvlei, Noordoewer, Warmbad and Aussenkehr, also has the most vacant posts for enrolled nurses, with four such posts having to be filled.
The Keetmanshoop State Hospital needs two registered nurses and three enrolled nurses, while the clinic in the same town needs five registered nurses only as they currently have enough enrolled nurses.
The Lüderitz Health District has six vacant posts for registered nurses, plus two more posts for enrolled nurses.
The statistics also indicate that out of the 54 posts filled by registered nurses in the region, 29 of the nurses are not Namibian.
Ndile on Tuesday confirmed that the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) is facing a shortage of registered nurses, adding that this has a negative impact on the service delivery to patients in the region.
He said all vacant posts have been advertised, and the ministry will fill them as soon as the required candidates are available.
In the meantime, they will have to make do with the few nurses they have to make sure patients are attended to.
On his part, the Principal Medical Officer (PMO) for Lüderitz, Davies Nkalamo said the shortage of nurses slows down service delivery to patients, especially when the available nurses go on leave or attend workshops.
It is really difficult sometimes, especially at the primary healthcare clinics, where there is only one registered nurse. When they are on leave, we struggle. I acknowledge the efforts by the ministry to make sure patients receive the necessary treatment, despite the shortage of nurses, Nkalamo stated.
He further noted that every primary healthcare clinic in the region needs at least three registered nurses, but unfortunately in the //Karas Region, each clinic only has one registered nurse.
Last June, Health Minister Dr Richard Kamwi announced in Windhoek that he requested the Ministry of Education to consider introducing nursing classes at the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) and the International University of Management (IUM) to help train more nurses.
In the meantime, the ministry also employs registered nurses from countries such as Kenya in the country's public health facilities on a temporary basis.