Kamanjab health centre needs more staff

12 Aug 2017 09:30am
WINDHOEK, 12 AUG (NAMPA) – The millions of dollars Government poured into upgrading the Kamanjab Clinic to a health centre will be a waste if the relevant ministry fails to employ more staff.
This was the view of community members who attended a public hearing by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Social Development and Family Affairs at Kamanjab on Thursday.
Godhard Kasuto, Deputy Chairperson of the committee and head of the delegation, said the newly upgraded health centre still operates like a clinic due to a shortage of staff.
He told this agency on Friday the community complained that the centre, upgraded at a cost of about N.dollars 39 million, does not have enough medical staff.
An official of the Directorate of Health in Opuwo, who declined to be named because he is not allowed to speak to the media, told Nampa the centre is supposed to have at least one medical doctor, three enrolled nurses, two registered nurses, an ambulance driver, an operational ambulance, one institutional worker, a pharmacist, an institutional worker, an administrative clerk, a cook and a HIV counsellor.
According to the official, a health centre should be operational for 24 hours and staff should work shifts.
The centre currently only has one registered nurse, three enrolled nurses, one ambulance driver and a cleaner, who doubles as an administrative clerk, the official said.
Another concern of the community is that the ambulance can only be driven on a tarred road.
This means it cannot collect patients at clinics such as the one at Anker settlement, situated about 70 kilometres west of Kamanjab.
Kasuto said the situation had resulted in the ambulance driver travelling about 900 kilometres a day between Kamanjab and Outjo transporting patients.
“Imagine this poor driver has to cover the distance of 155 kilometres between Outjo and Kamanjab almost three times a day transporting patients,” a worried Kasuto said.
He promised that the concerns will be processed to the relevant authorities for consideration.
Nampa also spoke to the Chairperson of the Kunene Regional Council and Councillor of the Sesfontein Constituency, Julius Kaujova, who said the allocation of clinics to regional hospitals put patients at risk.
According to Kaujova, the clinic at Erwe settlement is allocated to the Khorixas District Hospital, while it is situated about 40 kilometres west of Kamanjab.
He recalled an incident where a patient who was stabbed with a knife had to wait for about six hours for an ambulance to come from Khorixas.
“It took this patient 12 hours to be attended to by a doctor while the situation could have been better if the ambulance came from Kamanjab which is nearer than Khorixas,” a concerned Kaujova said.