Shortage of ambulances in Otjozondjupa turning into crisis

The Otjozondjupa Regional Health Director, Gebhardo Timotheus on Wednesday described the shortage of ambulances in the region as reaching crisis level.

Timotheus told Nampa in an interview on Wednesday that all the four ambulances stationed at major State hospitals at Otjiwarongo, Grootfontein, Okahandja and Okakarara are broken down.

‘These ambulances are old with high mileages of about 500 000 kilometres, which is a big risk to patients and our drivers,’ he said.

Timotheus further stated that 90 per cent of the Otjozondjupa health directorate budget since 2022 has been channelled towards maintenance and repair of these unreliable and breakdown-prone ambulances of the four district hospitals.

He warned that the situation is dire as the only ambulance, based at Tsumkwe, is sometimes recalled to assist at the Grootfontein, Otjiwarongo and Okahandja State hospitals.

‘Worse at some points when we receive emergency calls of accidents on the B1 road while we have a broken ambulance at Otjiwarongo. This really
worries us a lot as one day we might fail to respond and result in a nation losing many people’s lives,’ he said.

Otjozondjupa Governor, James Uerikua on Monday when he received at his office a delegation of medical doctors working for the United States of America’s (US) Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Namibia, also expressed similar concerns.

Uerikua urged the delegation to consider through discussions the critical health needs including the lack of ambulances at the four health administrative districts in the region.

On his part on 16 April 2024 at the ground-breaking for the construction activities of the Ombili clinic in Otjiwarongo, Executive Director in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ben Nangombe announced that his ministry intends during this 2024/2025 financial year to purchase 20 ambulances, and that Otjozondjupa Region would also benefit once they are distributed.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Project Hope working to expand reach to vulnerable children

Project Hope Namibia has come up with a new project to help young people living with HIV in Namibia.

Project Hope Namibia spokesperson Fillipus Absalom informed Nampa in an interview on Tuesday about the Reach Namibia project that started in February this year, that aims to avert new infections for young people and improve treatment outcomes for HIV positive young people. This is by increasing access to comprehensive HIV prevention and impact mitigation services.

He said they want to help young people at risk of HIV and violence by increasing their access to Family Planning services.

‘We want to increase access to biomedical HIV prevention services including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), condoms, HIV testing services and referral for voluntary male medical circumcision for orphans and vulnerable children, boys and sexual partners,’ said Absalom.

He added that the project also helps one to have the opportunity to gain new knowledge on HIV, build resilience and understand violence prevention and the bene
fits of HIV treatment adherence.

One of the project’s Oshikoto representatives, Melody van der Merwe said she assists vulnerable children between the ages of 10 and 24 years who are in school as well as school dropouts.

‘We provide them with stationery, school uniform, soap and pads and solar lights through the Reach programme,’ she said.

Van der Merwe is currently focusing on schools in the Oshivelo circuit in the region and they have assisted six schools so far.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Police officer helps woman give birth along the road

RUNDU: Warrant officer, Joel Hamukoto of the Namibia Police Force (NamPol) in the Kavango West Region on Sunday morning helped a woman deliver a baby along the road near Mpungu village in the Kavango West Region.

NamPol Chief Inspector Raimbert Muronga confirmed the incident in the daily crime report on Monday that Hamukoto was driving from Namasira Police Checkpoint at Mpoto village, when he found the woman giving birth.

Muronga said the woman was looking for transport to take her to the nearest clinic.

Hamukoto was allegedly on his way to fetch water for his staff at the Namusira Police Checkpoint when he saw the pregnant woman along the road.

He then observed that the woman was ready to deliver the baby.

After assessing her condition, he then drove to Mpungu clinic to get a health professional who would further assist her as the baby’s head was already crowning.

The woman allegedly gave birth without any complications with the help of the health professional and they were both driven back to the clin

They were both admitted to the Mpungu Clinic and are now receiving the necessary medical treatment.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

CDC delegation pays courtesy visit to Uerikua

OTJIWARONGO: A delegation of medical doctors working for the United States of America’s (US) Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Namibia, paid a courtesy visit to the Otjozondjupa Governor, James Uerikua on Monday morning at his office in Otjiwarongo.

The delegation was led by the US CDC Country Director in Namibia, Dr Brian Baker, together with his deputy, Dr Benjamin Monroe, as well as some chief health programme officials from the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

Baker briefed Uerikua on the purpose of the visit, saying the team is in the region to conduct some routine technical oversight checks on the programmes being supported by the Windhoek-based US CDC Nambia office.

According to Baker, most of the programmes receiving support from his office are related to Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/Aids.

‘Our weeklong visit intends to travel to the areas of Tsumkwe, Gam and Mangetti Dune health facilities in order for us to learn from the team on the ground and then determine how best we wou
ld support them,’ said Dr Baker.

Uerikua on his part urged the delegation to consider through discussions the critical health needs of the region and the lack of ambulances at all four health administrative districts in the region.

The visit, which started on Monday, will end on Friday.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Health minister satisfied with N.dollars 10.8 billion budget

WINDHOEK: The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Kalumbi Shangula, says the ministry will put the N.dollars 10.8 billion it received to good use.

Shangula was reacting to Finance Minister Iipumbu Shiimi’s 2024/25 budget tabling speech delivered in the National Assembly on Wednesday. He told Nampa that they are going to do more with the money they have been allocated with.

‘This is the first time that the Ministry of Health and Social Services gets N.dollars 10 billion since its inception and we are quite comfortable with that, not only with the amount of money we received but also how we deploy the resources that are made available to us, which is critically important,’ Shangula said.

He has since urged members of the public to be grateful for whatever amounts each sector received.

‘Let us understand that there is only so much money that can be distributed. Not everyone will be catered for, just like in our own homes. We must understand this at a macro level and appreciate what we received,’ Shang
ula stressed.

He further maintained that the 2024/25 budget is one of the best to have ever been tabled in the National Assembly.

‘I wish to congratulate the Minister of Finance for a well-crafted budget. It touched on all aspects of our human endeavour and it is a positive budget in the sense that almost all sectors got an increase in the appropriation,’ he added.

He noted that much emphasis has been put on capital development to ensure that the investment in some sectors drives the economy forward, so that more money will be available to the Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA), to redistribute to other sectors.

‘It is a well-balanced budget,’ Shangula told this news agency.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Nangombe calls on public not to be alarmed by recent COVID-19 cases

WINDHOEK: Health and Social Services Executive Director, Ben Nangombe, on Tuesday called on members of the public not to be alarmed by the COVID-19 cases reported at Rehoboth in the Hardap Region.

Nangombe, in an interview with Nampa, said the cases discovered in Rehoboth last week are only in Rehoboth and all affected individuals are under proper supervision.

He however urged the public to take precautions.

‘Although the COVID-19 protocols have been repelled since 2022, the public must maintain the basics of wearing masks when in crowded areas, washing their hands regularly, and sanitising,’ Nangombe said.

Meanwhile, the ministry’s spokesperson, Walter Kamaya told Nampa that the government has not yet enforced mandatory measures to curb COVID-19 should it start spreading again.

‘For now, the public should just maintain the basic protocols, and go for individual testing if they wish to know their status,’ he said, adding that if the number of COVID-19 cases rises, necessary measures will be put in place
and the public will be updated.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency