Swakopmund – Mothers who give birth to premature infants and babies that are at risk of dying in the Erongo region will no longer need to be transferred to Windhoek for specialised neonatal care as the government has invested N$26.6 million in a state-of-the-art neonatal unit and a mother shelter at Swakopmund.
Prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, who on Friday officiated at the ground-breaking ceremony for the facility that will be constructed at the Swakopmund state hospital, said the facility will have a 28-bed capacity divided into 12 standard care beds, six high care beds, six intensive care unit (ICU) beds and four isolation unit beds.
“One of the measures of the health of a nation is through the provision of maternal and child healthcare to its population.
This therefore put emphasis on the importance of maternal and child healthcare services. Currently Swakopmund district has a maternal ward that has a capacity of 26 beds and four neonatal incubators,” she explained.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the government opted to construct a new facility in the region due to the demand for maternal and neonatal care.
“This facility will go a long way in ensuring survival of the newborn children in Erongo region, especially those born prematurely and at risk of dying in the absence of what such specialised care as a neonatal unit can provide.
“I am happy to inform you that all the health facilities within the region are providing maternal and child healthcare services. These services range from antenatal care (ANC), delivery, post-natal care and immunisation services among many other services,” she said.
According to the prime minister, about 97 percent of women who delivered within the health facilities have attended ANC during their pregnancies.
She further explained that this demonstrates that the community is aware of the importance of ANC in order to ensure a good pregnancy outcome.
The new facility, according to her, will have doctors’ consulting rooms as well as doctors on call, rest rooms, and will also have a 12-bed mother’s lodge to promote mother and child bonding and breast-feeding which are important components of maternal child healthcare.
“Government also made provision for specialised doctor positions to be included in the new staff establishment of the region. This therefore means that before the construction of the unit is finalised, the positions for paediatricians as well as other specialised vacancies required for neonatal care will have to be advertised and filled,”she said.
The facility is expected to be completed in February 2022.