Nurse urges Etanga PS to stay closed to prevent cholera spreadin

07 Jan 2014 10:50am
OPUWO, 07 JAN (NAMPA) - The nurse at the Etanga Clinic, Kauta Koruhama has suggested that the school situated next to the clinic should remain closed until the cholera outbreak in the area can be contained.
The clinic is situated at the Etanga village in the Kunene Region’s Epupa Constituency, where five out of seven people in the region recently lost their lives to cholera.
The clinic’s fence is situated about six metres away from the Etanga Primary School premises.
Koruhama was speaking to Nampa at Etanga village on Saturday, saying he fears that if the children are brought to Etanga while the cholera situation is not brought under control, their possibility of contracting the disease will be very high.
There is currently no proper water supply at the Etanga village after the only functioning source of water which supplies Government institutions at the village ran dry. This will hamper efforts to curb the disease from spreading as cholera can be prevented through access to safe drinking water, sanitation and good hygiene.
Another nurse who was in Etanga on Saturday to assist with the treatment and transportation of patients to the Opuwo District Hospital, was of the opinion that tents should be erected at the village to create more space for the treatment of patients instead of patients having to be transported to Opuwo.
The village is situated 100 kilometres west of Opuwo.
Joseph Mutumbulwa said transporting the patients to Opuwo could see the disease spread to other towns and it was also making patients vulnerable as they are transported on bumpy roads for nearly two hours, which could lead to their condition deteriorating.
The other borehole at the village was used by the South African army prior to Independence, but has since been abandoned.
Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry’s Department of Rural Water Supply visited Etanga on Saturday to determine what can be done to get the borehole to function again so it can start supplying water as soon as possible.
According to Koruhama, most villagers who have been affected by the cholera outbreak used water from earth dams or traditional wells that have been contaminated.
The Education Inspector of the Opuwo Circuit, Chris Tjivikua said his office will consult officials from the Ministry of Health and Social Services in the Kunene Region about the cholera outbreak and take an informed decision about the opening of the school.
Speaking to Nampa in an interview at Opuwo on Monday, he said everything possible will be done to avoid children’s health being endangered.
“We are aware that Etanga does not have water and we have been transporting water from Opuwo to the school. We will see what we can do,” Tjivikua said.
He noted that teachers are expected to report to schools on 09 January this year, while learners start school on 15 January.
Tjivikua said the decision to delay the opening of the Etanga Primary School or other options will depend on discussions with the Ministry of Health.