Clinics at universities not answer to baby dumping: Mushelenga

17 Sep 2015 16:13pm
WINDHOEK, 17 SEP (NAMPA) - Expanding clinics to all tertiary institutions in the country in order to address the problem of unwanted pregnancies and baby dumping may not be the answer to these social problems.
Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Peya Mushelenga made these remarks during a debate at the National Assembly (NA) here on Wednesday.
He said if one looks at the six State clinics in Windhoek, one also has to look at the distance between clinics and schools in rural areas and thus, the motion should not only serve urban institutions as it is a national problem that is not only confined to urban Namibia.
Windhoek currently has six State clinics - the Khomasdal, Robert Mugabe, Donkerhoek, Wanaheda, Okuryungava and Hakahana clinics.
He said medical clinics should not only be considered for tertiary institutions, but boarding schools in the regions as well – an approach already applied by the health ministry to bring heath services closer to rural communities.
He proposed that mobile medical teams visit schools around the regions.
“I am not sure that we really need 24-hour operational clinics at the institutions. Some of the students have medical aid from their parents, and may opt to go to private doctors, which should also be taken into consideration,” he said.
Member of Parliament (MP) and DTA of Namibia Acting Secretary-General, Elma Dienda who tabled the motion in the NA, highlighted the attitude and behaviour of nursing staff, who are not specifically trained or equipped to deal with young people.
She said this discourages young people from going to any public health facilities.
“Some of the young people complain that medical staff treat them like criminals when they go for family planning or related advice, which in most cases is by asking sensitive questions and in very judgmental tones,” she said.
Mushelenga supported Dienda on the bad attitudes of nurses, as nurses tend to question women for wanting family planning.
“You can have a clinic on campus, if people do not use these family planning devices on campus, they will not use them off campus. You even have health workers but these teenagers still fall pregnant,” he said.
The issue of baby dumping can be addressed by placing dropping centres for those mothers who do not want their babies to drop them off there, he noted.
The debate was adjourned to next week Wednesday.