SHADIKONGORO - The X-ray department at Andara District Hospital in Mukwe Constituency has been dysfunctional since 2011, to the chagrin of the locals.
Since then, patients in need of X-ray services have to be transported once weekly to the Nyangana District Hospital in Ndiyona Constituency, about 100km away.
Sometimes patients are driven to Rundu, located 200km away. This is according to Mukwe Constituency Councillor John Thighuru when health minister Kalumbi Shangula visited the area last week.
“I’m also part of this community and I go to Andara, that’s why I’m saying this as I am aware of the situation. We don’t have an X-ray at Andara hospital,” he said.
“What usually happens is that all patients are always being referred to Nyangana District Hospital for X-ray, which is far away and in my view this is not economical for the ministry as opposed to repairing the broken existing equipments in Andara to save the cost and avoid travelling up and down between the two hospitals,” Thighuru added.
“To my understanding, this started as a temporary arrangement which has become permanent now to an extent that Nyangana hospital becomes overloaded with workload and the over usage of the equipments at that hospital. And apart from emergency cases, people wait too long for X-ray because they have to wait for the hospital to transport them once a week and I’m informed that due to that, the doctors decisions are also delayed pending X-ray results,” he continued.
According to Thighuru, anything can happen during the waiting period, which could worsen the patients’ conditions. Thighuru requested the health minister and his entourage to investigate the matter and sort out the problem.
Shangula appaluded the frank nature of the councillor’s revelations.
“We can only improve when our shortcomings are pointed out to us. I would like to sincerely thank the Mukwe constituency councillor for giving us feedback about the challenges here, I have taken note of the challenges.” “We came here to observe, inspect as well as see for ourselves the state of our public health facilities and how they are providing health care services to our communities,” Shangula said.
During his visit, Shangula apart from opening Shadikongoro clinic, he also officially opened, Ncaute in Kavango East and Gcwatjinga PHCs in Kavango West.