A hostel facility at Otjinene in Omaheke that has been lying idle has been converted into an isolation shelter to help treat Covid-19 patients in one of the hard-hit regions.
Omaheke has been under stress during the last two months, while its only state hospital facility has to cater for four times the original capacity, a situation that led to space being sought in other facilities.
It was because of this predicament that constituencies in the region started seeking possible solutions to the major problem, which does not only confront the health ministry, but all regional inhabitants in one way or the other.
Otjinene identified the youth hostel, which stood idle, and turned it into a 12-bed waiting shelter. Health extension workers are stationed at the shelter, which opened on Monday, with permission from the health ministry to operate as a community Covid-19 waiting shelter. “I came up with an initiative of a community isolation centre in Otjinene to ease pressure on Gobabis, which has the only well-equipped facility in the region,” said regional councillor Erwin Katjizeu.
“This is also to reduce the hustle of transporting every Covid-19 case needing mild health care or self-isolation to Gobabis.” Katjizeu also expressed hope
that the ministry of health grants support to the waiting shelter and meet the community halfway by providing human resources and medical equipment.
The shelter will provide isolation to people with Covid-19 and who do not have proper isolation facilities or who are at a greater risk of infecting family members and the society they live in. At the shelter, patients will be monitored for signs and symptoms and administer immune
boosters as well as regular pain medication where needed.
Officiating the opening of the shelter, the deputy minister of health Utjiua Muinjangue applauded the councillor and his team for coordinating the successful realisation of the shelter.
“We remain confident that the Otjinene Covid-19 waiting shelter complements the ministerial expected role of providing quality and affordable healthcare services to the public and subsequently easing the pressure on the public health facilities.
“This facility will be able to assist all residents of Omaheke region,” she said. She added it should be understood by all that the fight against Covid-19 must not be solely left to the health authorities, hence the need for community and stakeholders’ support.
On his part, Omaheke governor Pijoo Nganate urged stakeholders to start working towards the regional health plan so that they are not caught by surprise by whatever eventuality. The positive responses and support granted by community members and stakeholders, traditional authorities, farmers associations, political parties and ministries played a crucial part in ensuring that the shelter is equipped with the most valuables such as gas cylinders, oxygen tanks, personal protective equipment, money, food and sanitiser.
Otjinene resident Kavetjiua Karaerua was grateful for the development and thinks the shelter will be of great help to the community.
It takes away some referrals for isolation to Gobabis of people that are not critical and gives an opportunity for more people to receive quick aid once admitted and that can only be possible if the people do not wait at home until they get critical.
In the end, the deputy minister urged the community to visit their health facilities to get vaccinated as a means of fighting the invisible enemy Covid-19.