10 Feb 2014 11:30am
OPUWO, 10 FEB (NAMPA) The Minister of Health and Social Services has called on parents to encourage their children to study in the medical fields to curb the shortages of nurses and doctors in the country.
Dr Richard Kamwi made this call in Opuwo on Thursday during the inauguration of a new maternity ward at the Opuwo District Hospital.
The Government - through the Ministry of Health - is ensuring that all infrastructures which are necessary for the provision of health services are provided and available in different corners of this country, but the lack of nurses and doctors is not the making of the ministry, he noted.
The minister said it is partly the fault of members of society who do not take up careers in those fields.
Give us your children to train to become quality nurses, pharmacists and doctors. The Government of Namibia is fully-sponsoring students who are studying in any medical field, said Kamwi.
The minister noted that he opened three different medical facilities last year, some in the South, where professional midwives will be trained en masse, starting from this year.
We are going to train 270 nurses or midwives each year at these three facilities. It is a pilot project aimed at producing nurses, which would run for six years, he added.
Kamwi said the people of the Kunene Region should not be left behind in these endeavours.
Currently, all State hospitals are being run on a 50 per cent staff establishment of doctors and 50 per cent registered nurses due to the shortage of these professionals in the country, he explained.
The Namibian Government has also sent 200 young men and women to Russia, Zambia and South Africa to study as medical doctors to try and curb the shortages of medical professionals in the country.
The minister noted that besides the University of Namibia training nurses and medical doctors, the International University of Management (IUM) in Namibia also started offering nursing courses this year.
These are all efforts of government to make sure that there are enough medical staff members in the country to give quality services to the nation, said Kamwi.