Volunteer doctors to visit Erongo and Kavango regions

11 Mar 2018 12:00pm
WINDHOEK, 11 MAR (NAMPA) - Five volunteer doctors, including Minister of Health and Social Services Dr Bernard Haufiku, will on Sunday embark on a week-long outreach programme to perform surgery to patients in the Kavango East, Kavango West and Erongo regions.
The doctors comprise a gynaecologist, general surgeon, plastic surgeon, neurologist and an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist.
The doctors will be accompanied by two nurses.
The Erongo team will cover towns such as Omaruru, Usakos, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, where a total of over 50 cases of tonsillitis will be handled.
Speaking at a meeting ahead of their trip here on Saturday, Haufiku explained that his ministry is still at a point where it needs to go out on more outreach programmes, a process that will happen this year and possibly next year.
He explained that the gynaecology department at Katutura State Hospital is critically short-staffed, saying the State does not have a gynaecologist.
He thus directed that a memorandum of understanding be drafted between the State and private doctors, particularly gynaecologists and anaesthetists, to contract them to assist Government not only in Windhoek, but also at district hospitals on a regular basis.
This, he added, will enable his ministry to save money it spends on patients who are kept waiting at State hospitals and later sent to private hospitals.
Haufiku however expressed concern that there are doctors who are reluctant to work with the State.
He made it clear that the main idea is to bring the two sectors together to make health care services better for the country.
“You will go out there and find people desperate for help and you will attend to them and leave them with a lot of hope. It does not matter whether they are two or 10, the truth is that you are making a difference in these people’s lives,” he stressed.
The outreach programme is aimed at taking medical services to as many people in the district levels as possible, treating the patients in their regions and avoiding overburdening Windhoek's State hospitals.