Matheus Hamutenya Keetmanshoop-A group of 86 health extension workers who recently graduated at Keetmanshoop are still sitting at home waiting for the Ministry of Health and Social Services to employ them. Health extension workers are seen as a vital link between health facilities and communities, especially those in rural areas as they take health services closer to them, but while they would usually be employed upon completion of their studies, the new graduates are yet to be deployed due to lack of funds. //Kharas regional health director Barth Mutenda said it is unfortunate this group is still to be deployed, but gave his assurance that they will be at their work stations as soon as funds are available. He explained that while the plan was to get every one of them employed immediately after completing their six-months training, the situation became complicated due to the country’s economic situation. “They will be employed – however the pace depends on our coffers, and we were not yet given the green light to call them for service because the finances did not stabilise, so we are waiting on the allocations and instructions to do so,” he said. He added that due to the economic situation no additional employees can be accommodated at the moment. He said the ministry’s head office had informed him to hang on until the end January or next month, to assess the situation further, but he noted that the extension workers are a priority. “If you have a negative salary bill then you do not have money to recruit, so that is what the delay is about, but things are being done to make sure that we get a balanced salary bill then they can start. It is not that we have a procedural challenge or so – if the money is there, they will be employed even within a week.” Meanwhile, the director informed New Era that there have been no cases of hepatitis E reported in the //Kharas Region so far, but said the region is ready to handle such cases should they arise.
2018-02-01 09:26:18 7 months ago