Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said some of the health challenges at Otjinungua and the Kunene region in general include respiratory infections, skin diseases and the common cold, particularly among children under five years.
He stated this on the occasion of the official inauguration of the Otjinungua containerised primary healthcare clinic (Maurenfluss clinic) and staff accommodation.
Said Shangula: “Government will continue to work with communities with the aim of health promotion, disease prevention and health awareness.”
The Maurenfluss clinic is equipped to provide health for those in need, and government encourages people to adopt health-seeking behaviour and visit facilities when they are unwell.
“The ministry has recruited 32 nurses to be deployed in the Kunene region soon, once the process of registration with the Health Professions Council of Namibia is completed. They will be deployed at facilities such as Otjiu, Onjuva, Etanga, Otjinungua and others. This is to alleviate the burden at clinics which are staffed by a single nurse currently,” he added.
The minister advised persons on regular treatment and follow-ups for conditions such as hypertension, anti- retroviral and tuberculosis treatment to ensure they adhere to the treatment regimens to realise the desired outcomes.
“It is critical that women deliver their babies at health facilities under skilled healthcare workers, and that they continue with the post-natal care, including immunisation and family planning services,” he urged.
Shangula added that the ministry provided basic medical equipment as well as pharmaceutical and clinical supplies to better equip and stock this clinic, enabling it to better serve the community.
“Nursing staff with the required knowledge and skills have also been deployed. Since there is no telephone connection (mobile or fixed), the clinic is provided with satellite-enabled internet, making it possible for clinic staff to provide timely health statistics through regular reporting,” Shangula noted.
The government has approved this piece of land for the construction of the clinic, which for many years has served as an outreach point under the Kunene Region Health Directorate, catering to the surrounding communities as well as patients from across the border.
At the same occasion, President Hage Geingob said since independence, Namibia has been fully committed to transforming the health system into an integrated, comprehensive national service.
“The government will continue to construct, renovate and upgrade more health facilities in the Kunene region and elsewhere in the country. We remain committed to the promotion of strategies and programmes that address both communicable and non-communicable diseases with the understanding that through the development of new health facilities, we will enhance our effectiveness to deal with existing and emerging diseases,” he observed.
Geingob said while government has the responsibility to provide quality health services, the community should also do their part to maintain the integrity of the facilities at their disposal.
“You are expected to keep this clinic and its environment clean and hygienic. By valuing this facility, you will ensure that it will become a place of care and hope for generations to come,” he stated.