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Home births, deaths plague Oshikoto village

2021-11-11  Obrien Simasiku

Home births, deaths plague Oshikoto village
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AMBENDE - Community members of Ambende village say there is a high prevalence of people dying at home as well as pregnant women delivering on their own. Members of the marginalised community are said to be the most affected.  

Villagers say this is the result of non-existence of a healthcare centre in the area, saying the situation has been exacerbated by high poverty levels. The nearest clinic is at Omuntele, which is situated more than 15km away. 

“It is a challenge for many of the people here, because they barely afford any transport to and from the clinic. Thus, many have become hopeless. You find people that are pregnant but end up giving birth on their own at home, because there is no transport. Omuthiya is far, so does Amilema or Onanke,” said a resident, Hileni Iyambo. She, however, does not have a full recollection of how many home deliveries have taken place in recent years. 

New Era caught up with the community members who had gathered at Ambende centre where about 80 residents received medical treatment through an outreach programme.  Ambende is situated in Omuntele constituency of Oshikoto region. 

“We appreciate the outreach programme, but more needs to be done. We are requesting them to increase the number of times they can be visiting this area because it has many people, of which the majority are poverty stricken. 

Also, this programme doesn’t really cater for all the needs and types of illnesses by the people,” added Iyambo. Pensioner Simon Shipanga, who was among the elderly who received treatment, said there are two critically sick people in the village, whom they could not bring to the outreach centre as a result of no transport.  

“These people can’t walk, and we as a community have no means. That is why we want to ask the government to construct a clinic here, so that people can be treated on time. As it stands, once in a month is not helpful enough,” he said.

 Another resident, Victoria Alumbungu said it will be easy now for government to bring services closer by allocating nurses because they already have a permanent structure at the outreach point. 

“That way, it will be better while government is still looking for a long term solution. There is water and electricity nearby, so that shouldn’t be a problem,” Alumbungu emphasised. 

2021-11-11  Obrien Simasiku

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