Paediatrician Solly Amadhila said most of what demoralises young medical professionals is the lack of consumables at health facilities, which leaves them powerless when it comes to aiding patients.
He said this to Vital Signs recently at the N$320 000 donation handover by Simonis Storm Securities.
The donation will be used to procure consumables for the Central hospital’s cardiac unit division for adult cardiology in the capital.
“When I saw the young doctors’ spirit and energy in the wards, I felt the need to do something as I don’t want these young doctors to get demoralised because of issues like consumables,” he said.
Amadhila added: “The contribution means a lot, you don’t want to have somebody who’s lying on the operating table and there are no consumables, important tools that may be required for the success of that operation.”
Amadhila, a former permanent secretary of the health ministry with a span of 40 years in the medical profession, consulted Simonis Storm to see how they can assist in getting medical equipment for the health facility.
Dr Tangeni Auala from the Central hospital cardiac unit said due to the long waiting list of patients with heart surgery, the donation will come in handy to purchase consumables that will ease the pressure in the operating room.
“There are a lot of things needed, the equipment needed is not a one size fits all. With the financial assistance from Simoni Storms, we can buy medical equipment that will allow us to open arteries. We can now put in pacemakers in patients. We will also be roping in seniors to aid in interventional things like valve implantation,” she said.
On the same occasion, the executive director of the health ministry, Ben Nangombe, said it is important for Namibians to be trained locally and the country has been training doctors, nurses and other health professionals to strengthen the provision of healthcare services.
“What is not known is that we have trained specialist doctors in several fields and in the field of cardiology alone, we have trained several doctors to provide services to the Namibian people. That is making us one of the few African countries to have an operational cardiac unit for adults and paediatric cardiology,” said Nangombe.
He added, “Despite the challenges in the healthcare sector, we have good stories to tell. We are talking about open heart surgery being conducted here, in the past, we use to send outpatients to South Africa, Germany or Austria, now many operations are being done here for free.”
Having to transport patients to other countries is costly as there is airfare, catering to the family of the patient, the stay and paying for services abroad. But these services are now offered here, saving patients and the government money, Nangombe said.
There are several heart conditions, including abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias, aorta disease and Marfan syndrome, congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease (narrowing of the arteries), deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, heart attack, heart failure, heart muscle (cardiomyopathy), heart valve disease, pericardial disease.
Other types of diseases also include peripheral vascular, rheumatic heart, stroke and (blood vessel disease).
The World Health Rankings chart shows that coronary heart disease is the second leading cause of death among Namibians followed by stroke. According to the latest WHO data published in 2018, coronary heart disease deaths in Namibia reached 1 408 or 8.03% of total deaths. The age-adjusted death rate is 138.38 per 100 000 population and ranks Namibia 79th in the world.