No safe homes for abused children in //Kharas

03 Jun 2017 11:10am
KEETMANSHOOP, 31 MAY (NAMPA) – Children from abusive homes in the //Kharas Region are temporarily housed at the Keetmanshoop State Hospital due to a lack of appropriate facilities where they can be accommodated.
Afterwards, they are placed either in the care of relatives and with siblings often separated or returned to the fraught homes they were initially removed from.
“This does not help them and breaks down their physical and psychological health,” an official in the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Joy Hartung, said on Tuesday.
Hartung, who works with the children, spoke about their plight during a public consultation in Keetmanshoop convened by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Social Development and Family Affairs.
She asked the committee to take urgent note of the lack of facilities and proposed the renovation and staffing of existing government infrastructure at the town to save on money.
“This problem is serious as these children need a safe environment,” Hartung said.
The committee is conducting meetings and visiting health facilities throughout the country from 29 May to 03 June to investigate public health-related matters.
Elderly residents of Keetmanshoop, Regina Claasen and Theresia Snewe expressed frustration over the long wait at health facilities, alleged grumpy attitude of nurses and language barrier with English-speaking doctors.
“And when you call the ambulance in emergencies, they either arrive late or never come,” Claasen noted.
Snewe, who is referred to Windhoek for specialist care on a regular basis, said she often returns from there without having been seen by a doctor.
“Sometimes the doctor I am sent to is not there and I am given pain pills and sent back to Keetmanshoop,” she said, querying when the region would get specialists to cut down on referrals.
Namibian Police Force Detective Inspector, Jochobetha Angukku who works on gender-based violence cases, appealed for the establishment of a mental hospital in the region.
“Trial-awaiting offenders with mental health problems are put on a long waiting list of the Windhoek Mental Health Care Centre and this delays all court and other formal processes,” Angukku said.
Chairperson of the standing committee, Ida Hoffmann said the input from the regions would be detailed in a report that will later be discussed in Parliament.