14 Sep 2018 12:00pm
SWAKOPMUND, 14 SEP (NAMPA) - An Emergency Food Bank for the Erongo Region was set up under the auspices of the Office of the Governor on Friday.
A media statement issued by the Office of the Governor indicated that the initiative was established as an interim solution to the food shortage crisis currently experienced by all state hospitals in the region.
The food shortage dilemma, which was reported earlier in the month, is a result of financial difficulties experienced by the appointed catering company tasked with supplying meals to all the regional state hospitals in Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Usakos and Omaruru respectively, the document noted.
According to the statement, the Food Bank was set up during a stakeholders meeting held on 06 September 2018 in order to tackle the crisis on a regional level and will remain effective until such a time when the issue has been resolved by the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS).
The document further noted on average, about 200 patients at all four regional hospitals require at least three meals daily.
Additionally, the committee which was also appointed to oversee the crisis, comprises of representatives from the Office of the Governor, the mayors of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, the Erongo Regional Health Department as well as several members from the private sector.
The committee is tasked with the accountable and transparent management of the food bank to ensure donations are recorded and reach the patients in all regional hospitals with the assistance of the hospital staff, it added.
The Office of the Governor emphasised that the Erongo Emergency Food Bank is just a temporary solution to this crisis and that the onus remains on the MoHSS to ensure a sustainable resolution to the matter, not only for the short term, but also in the long run to avoid future situations of this nature.
The committee also recommended that future tenders be awarded to catering companies on a district level, where at least two or three companies are appointed in the region instead of just one.