RUNDU – The long awaited Rundu Intermediate Hospital’s maternity ward is finally operational after keeping the community waiting since 2014. The facility, despite being inaugurated on 20 November last year, was standing idle because of outstanding theatre equipment.
The ward was officially open for business on Monday. The first delivery was a baby girl delivered through a C-section. “The new maternity ward is fully functional and ready,” said the hospital’s acting medical superintendent, Dr Medson Chibwe.
Chibwe said the hospital is happy that the ward is finally catering to the demand. Over the years, the hospital’s old maternity ward was in the negative news corner as expectant mothers at times had to endure sleeping on the floor and corridors of the maternity ward due to a lack of space.
However, that is all in the past now. “The aim of the hospital is to provide the best possible quality care in line with the ministry’s vision and mission. Moving to the new ward will greatly enhance our ability to do this and ensure mothers and their babies together with the general community always have an experience they are fully satisfied with when utilising our services,” the acting superintendent said.
During the official inauguration last year, it was revealed that the cost of construction of the ward was at N$53.7 million but escalated as it was incomplete and could not operate.
“The maternity ward that I commission was conceived and built with the aim to address the challenge of limited space in caring for mothers to deliver their babies in a safe and conducive environment, where they are able to receive the care that they need,” said health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula during last year’s inauguration.
The facility has added to the capacity of the hospital to provide care for delivering mothers. It will also go a long way in reducing maternal and newborn mortalities.
The new maternity ward comprises several components, which include a theatre, postnatal and antenatal wards, neonatal unit, isolation unit, mothers’ lodges, offices and consulting rooms.
“I wish to emphasise that access to health facilities and outreach services remains the core for health service delivery. The ministry and government at large remain committed to the development and expansion of health facilities and services in all parts of the country,” Shangula noted last November.
The old maternity and neonatal unit will be used as the hospital’s high care unit (HCW) and intensive care unit (ICU) since the old one has been converted to a Covid-19 ward.