With over 52 villages and a population of around 7 500 inhabitants, the Epukiro constituency in the Omaheke region only has one ambulance.
This constituency is facing a continued health crisis with just this ambulance catering for four clinics, which are hundreds of kilometres apart.
Omaheke governor Pijoo Nganate revealed this during his recent meeting with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Social Development and Family Affairs.
The committee was led by its chairperson, Gotthard Kasuto. The soft-spoken Nganate, venting his frustrations with various infrastructural shortcomings and delayed capital projects within the region, said the constituency was a major headache to his office. “The issue of ambulances at Epukiro is not only a big concern, but a big health crisis. There is only one ambulance running between Eiseb and Epukiro. That means the very same ambulance services Otjimanangombe and all the way to
Epukiro Post 3 and others. It’s not a healthy thing at all, and something must be
done about it,” he stressed.
He pointed out that the ambulance,
which could wear out in the near future, transports patients between the Eiseb Block and Otjimanangombe clinics, which are almost 250km apart.
Not only that, but the same ambulance would at times be required to transport patients between Epukiro Post 3 and Epukiro RC, which is equally a
The lone ambulance was donated to the constituency by the Catherine Bullen Foundation.
When contacted, Epukiro constituency councillor Packy Pakarae echoed Nganate’s concerns, saying efforts are being made to remedy the situation.
“It is truly concerning to have one ambulance servicing that whole area, and we have been making efforts to try and get another one. But as you know, it is a process to get these things done and the longer it takes, the longer people
But I just also say that development has many aspects to it, and one of the determining factors is the number of
people found in that particular locality.
That is why I always say, especially now with the upcoming counting of people through this year’s census, that people should understand the importance of being counted in their rural places, as that goes a long way in determining the level of development coming to your
At times it’s difficult for government to bring a clinic or ambulance to 50 people, while there is another place with 200 people in equal need. So, fixing our numbers through the census will help with development also”, Pakarae said candidly.
Epukiro likewise faces significant challenges on the development front, including access to safe water and
sanitation, and medical care.
The constituency’s economy is driven primarily by both large and small livestock farming.
They are further connected by road to Gam, Okatumba and Eiseb and Otjombinde, with most roads in poor condition.