Woman dies while in Opuwo clinic queue

21 Sep 2017 18:40pm
WINDHOEK, 21 SEP (NAMPA) – A pensioner died while waiting to be attended to at the Opuwo clinic Thursday morning.
The crime investigation coordinator of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) in Kunene, Deputy Commissioner Rudolf Kanyetu confirmed her death to Nampa, although he could not provide much detail around the incident.
Contacted for comment, acting Regional Health Director Katarina Tjiveze would not confirm the incident, saying her acting capacity does not allow her to do so.
Chairperson of the Kunene Regional Council, Julius Kaujova who went to the Opuwo District Hospital after receiving news of the woman’s death, said she had gone to the hospital around 04h00 for medical treatment.
It is alleged that the deceased went to the casualty department. She was then referred to the clinic and had no choice but to join the long queue, where she later died.
Kunene Governor, Angelika Muharukua said little is known about what led to the woman’s death as she said medical staff refused to talk to her about the matter.
She said she reported the matter to the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Bernard Haufiku who according to her promised to send his Permanent Secretary Andreas Mwoombola to Opuwo on Monday.
Councillor of the Opuwo Urban Constituency, Weich Mupya who is also a member of the National Assembly told Nampa on Thursday he recently wrote a letter to Haufiku complaining about the situation at the Opuwo District Hospital. He is yet to receive a response.
Mupya said the hospital facilities are insufficient for the patient population in the region and they had received constant complaints of people having to queue for hours before being attended to.
“We have reported this situation to the authorities on numerous occasions, but they seem to be dragging their feet,” Mupya said.
He said the issue was brought up when President Hage Geingob visited the Kunene Region last year and was also brought to the attention of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi when he visited the region.
The same issue was recently brought up during a public hearing at Opuwo, which was conducted by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Social Development and Family Affairs.
A supervisor of the nursing staff at the Opuwo District Hospital, Lisias Ashivudhi submitted that the patient population has grown six times since the construction of the hospital in 1973.
He said the facilities are not sufficient and the number of patients outnumbers the available staff.