11 May 2017 13:20pm
ELOOLO, 11 MAY (NAMPA) Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Bernard Haufiku has called on Namibians to cooperate with health extension workers (HEWs).
Haufiku made the call whilst officiating at the inauguration of the Eloolo Primary Health Care (PHC) Clinic at Eloolo village in the Oshana Region on Tuesday.
He was responding to reports that some members of the community deny HEWs entrance to their homesteads and treat them with disrespect.
Haufiku explained that they go house-to-house, especially in the rural communities, to provide health advice.
HEWs are our foot soldiers, they are the first line of defence against diseases and they are there to advise us how to prevent diseases and accidents, the minister noted.
The provision of services by HEWs was initiated in a two-year pilot project at Opuwo in the Kunene Region in 2012. The Ministry of Health and Social Services in 2013 committed funds to expand the service to the whole country.
The health workers were unemployed men and women, who received six months of training in basic health care in the regions.
Thousands of health workers were trained and are now providing basic services, bridging the gap between the rural communities and urban health facilities and, amongst others, helping to reduce child mortality in the regions.
Haufiku said he wants people to respect and support HEWs.
He told his audience his ministry will continue training and deploying the community health workers to help deal with diseases such as HIV/Aids, malaria and tuberculosis.
Also speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Oshana Governor Clemens Kashuupulwa said the Eloolo PHC Clinic will be served by nine extensively trained HEWs.
So far, 198 health extension workers have been trained in the region and 98 are currently undergoing training, Kashuupulwa said.
The Eloolo PHC Clinic serves a catchment population of nearly 5 000 people.