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Health director recounts near-death experience

2021-08-04  Obrien Simasiku

Health director recounts near-death experience

OMUTHIYA – Oshikoto health director Joshua Nghipangelwa has recounted his battle with Covid-19, saying it was a near-death experience. 

It started as a simple headache, probably due to work-related stress that transcended into fatigue – and all of a sudden, severe body pains kicked in. 

Things went from bad to worse; however, Nghipangelwa remained hopeful he would win the fight.

Nghipangelwa, who recently recovered from Covid-19, said it was a tough battle.

“It wasn’t easy going through such an experience. It started with mild symptoms, then it took a nosedive and became severe to such an extent that I had to be taken to hospital. I then got admitted. Thereafter, my sugar level went up, thus exacerbating the situation, as doctors now had two things to fight,” narrated the director, who was hospitalised in June.

He added his oxygen level was also dropping from 99%; hence, he had to be put on a ventilator for some time. Nghipangelwa spent nearly four weeks in hospital. 

“Was I not vaccinated, it could have ended badly. Even though it went to a severe state, the severity was eased by the vaccine. That is why I was able to withstand and fight off the virus. I am fully vaccinated with Sinopharm,” he stated.

Nghipangelwa also said he received antibiotics as well as painkillers to ward off the virus. 

“One can’t really tell what remedies an individual can use because it depends on the severity – whether mild, moderate or severe. Therefore, I want to caution the public to visit the hospital as soon as possible when they fall ill, instead of using home remedies, which might turn out not to be beneficial and consistent to infection,” he said.

In addition, he advised recovering Covid-19 patients to always rest and eat a lot – even if they have lost their sense of taste. 

“What is important is to get enough energy so that the body can’t be weakened, while at the same time getting enough rest. This will greatly help,” he said.


Office contact

Nghipangelwa is known to be a champion of Covid-19 health protocols regulations and does not take health risks. 

However, he said, it is extremely difficult to evade the virus, irrespective of how cautious one is.

“I have been doing everything possible; I suspect it could have been an office infection through the administration of various documents from different staffers. So, it could have been through that, maybe. It is really difficult to tell how and where,” he stressed, as he commended the health officials for the commitment and good work they are doing in saving lives at their own expense.

Furthermore, Nghipangelwa said, Covid-19 patients or those recovering need serious psychosocial support, as the condition is traumatising and can leave someone disoriented. 

“This is not an easy and comfortable experience; it is the worst situation one can find themselves in. It’s a matter of life and death, where one needs to battle for survival by any means possible. Stress and anxiety come in due to a lot of thinking, while at the same time, you end up hearing bad news of relatives or people you know. This hits hard,” he said. 

He said the virus leaves a psychological scar that takes time to heal; hence, he cautioned the public to be careful and follow all the Covid-19 health protocols to avoid falling victim.

2021-08-04  Obrien Simasiku

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