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Covid-weary health ministry ropes in army

2021-06-03  Loide Jason

Covid-weary health ministry ropes in army

The health ministry’s executive director, Ben Nangombe, said Namibia is well equipped to fight Covid-19, as the ministry has requested for the redeploying of
defence health facilities and manpower. 

Nangombe was speaking during a
press conference, held in the capital yesterday afternoon, to respond to news reports that state hospitals have run out of oxygen.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about high demand for medical oxygen
to treat patients admitted in high and intensive care units around the world. This is because oxygen therapy is critical
in the treatment of Covid-19.  

“As a result of the high demand, some countries have experienced challenges
with the availability and supply of oxygen to health facilities,” said Nangombe.

He said, so far, the ministry has engaged the defence ministry to deploy their hospital for use by Covid-19 patients, as well as their health professionals to strengthen the capacity. “We are expecting high demands due to Covid-19. Thus, we have taken steps to strengthen the capacity to handle the situation,” he said.

He added the increased admission of patients, inflicted by Covid-19, has put pressure on the health facility in terms of oxygen-generating systems.

Nangombe added that Namibia has sufficient oxygen and they have engaged the suppliers to increase the quantity at the health centres.  “We have taken steps to engage oxygen suppliers to increase oxygen bottles to Katutura hospital and other health facilities. We also engage them to increase the supply of gas bottles to the respiratory unit at Katutura hospital to ensure an uninterrupted supply of oxygen for the patients.”

He said the ministry also engaged the oxygen suppliers and set up an independent gas generation system that will be connected to the Covid-19 isolation Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Windhoek central hospital.  The ministry is also engaging the Global Fund to assist them with the supply of oxygen generation system. “We want to access resources that can be used to strengthen the oxygen supply system in our entire identified health centre. And our team is busy writing a strong proposal to the Global Fund to assist us,” he said.

Nangombe said the ministry has identified 12 health facilities countrywide that will be upgraded to oxygen-generating systems.

2021-06-03  Loide Jason

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