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Expectant women unhappy with dilapidated ward

2022-05-20  Festus Hamalwa

Expectant women unhappy with dilapidated ward

EENHANA - A group of expectant women have expressed their frustration over the poor services and bad living conditions at the Eenhana waiting ward, where they stay to be close to hospital while waiting to give birth.

The facility, owned by the Eenhana Town Council, is well-known as Ewalanda, where expectant women from various villages within the Ohangwena region pay N$22.50 a week, which includes water and electricity. However, they buy and cook their own food.

When New Era visited the ward on Tuesday, the women said they are living in fear because there is no security guard at the gate, while some of the sleeping rooms do not have doors.

They stated that the place is completely unsafe for women as they don’t sleep well because they fear becoming victims of violence, and are also concerned for their unborn babies.

They told New Era that during uterine contractions, they walk in the dark to the Eenhana State Hospital, which is risky for them. They also claim that at least twice a week, a woman gives birth in the bushes close to the hospital.

They furthermore sleep on broken beds, while some sleep on the floor on mattresses.

Victoria Kamati (22), who has been at the ward for three weeks, told this publication that she is struggling to cook because the stoves are high, and it is a very big challenge for the expectant women to use them.

“Whenever I am cooking, I climb on bricks since I can not reach the stove. It is unsafe for us because we always burn on the stomach,” she lamented.

Kamati added that another challenge is that they collect firewood every day in the nearby field, and don’t feel safe there either.

Another 30-year-old expectant woman said anonymously that they share two bathrooms, which are not enough for them because there is always a long queue.

They have, therefore, appealed to the town council to renovate the ward, build more toilets and put up lights on the road to the hospital.

Approached for comment, Eenhana Town Council spokesperson Paulo Shilongo said they are aware of the damaged items at the centre as a result of vandalism.

However, they have been fixing some of the items as part of the maintenance of the centre.

“As a council, it is our wish for expecting mothers to be accommodated in a conducive environment,” he noted.

Shilongo added that it is unfortunate that the centre requires extensive education of the tenants on how to use and handle equipment.


2022-05-20  Festus Hamalwa

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