CORRECTION: One ambulance in Windhoek Rural a challenge

15 Mar 2017 09:00am
CORRECTION: Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Juliet Kavetuna NOT “Julius” IN SIXTH PARA.

WINDHOEK, 13 MAR (NAMPA) – State clinics in the Windhoek Rural Constituency face a challenge attending to patients during emergencies because of an ambulance shortage.
In a recent interview with Nampa at Groot Aub, Constituency Councillor Penina Inga-Ita said the constituency is vast with three clinics and only one ambulance servicing them. This, she said, is not enough for clinics to attend to all emergency medical cases.
“This is a challenge especially when there is an emergency case that needs to be transferred to Windhoek.”
The constituency consists of Groot Aub, Dordabis, Mix settlement and farms in the radius of 250 kilometres from Windhoek that make use of the nearest clinic.
In the constituency is the Groot Aub clinic, Dordabis clinic and Mix settlement clinic.
Groot Aub clinic serves about 100 patients per day.
Naftal Simeon, a nurse in charge there told Nampa last week, the ambulance sometimes takes about two to three hours to arrive there and transport a patient to Windhoek.
“Sometimes you can call for an ambulance but there is no ambulance available or it is in other parts of Windhoek Rural, which makes it difficult for us and put patients at risk.”
Inga-Ita noted that such a challenge is not unique to her Constituency.
“The challenge is not only with this constituency but it is a challenge for the whole of Namibia and the Ministry of Health is doing its best regarding this.”
Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Juliet Kavetuna told Nampa recently, the ministry is aware of the situation but with the current financial crisis, they could only afford 60 new ambulances for the 2016/2017 financial year.
The new ambulances are additional to the 300 existing emergency vehicles in the 121 constituencies of Namibia.
“It is a critical issue that we do not have enough ambulances, but as a ministry we have considered new measures to remedy the situation,” said Kavetuna.
He said sometimes the ministry uses ambulances from Windhoek Central Hospital and Katutura State Hospital to assist in rural constituencies.
This happens when the allocated ambulance in a rural constituency is not available for a specific call.