RUNDU - Vice President (VP) Nangolo Mbumba wants the ministry of health, the Rundu hospitals leadership and the contractor to work together to finalise the new Rundu maternity ward.
It has been under construction since 2014 to be finalised as the people of Kavango needs it.
“The hospital cannot continue to accommodate mothers and newborns on the hospital corridors. This is our hospital and the main thing left here is that the theatre setup must be completed to be operational, because we have patients there sleeping on the floor, on mattresses and in corridors, that we can’t afford,” noted the VP who is on a working tour of the two Kavango regions.
“Find ways and means to finish the work as they are our people, the owners of the land and they must be treated very well,” he added.
In regards to the new maternity ward, the beds are already at the wards, the water is running and the electricity was installed but disconnected as it was not in use but can be reconnected.
The major thing outstanding is the theatre and the medical gases and tilling of some floors.
In May 2014, construction of the new maternity ward at the Rundu Intermediate Hospital was started with the aim of improving maternity services in the Kavango East Region. But years later, the construction is yet to be finalised and this was due to delays resulting from a dispute between the Ministry of Health and Social Services and the contractor.
The long-awaited new building which had a construction budget of N$28 million in 2014 was supposed to bring to an end a situation where women in labour and those who have given birth, together with their babies, are accommodated on the floor of the facility due to a lack of space.
Executive Director in the health ministry Ben Nangombe in December last year told New Era that the final construction touches of the building were placed on halt due to the dispute. According to Nangombe that time, the contractor did not finish the work on time in the initial contract and demanded more money, claiming that prices of certain items had escalated.
“With regard to Rundu maternity ward, the long dispute has been resolved. The tender process for installation of medical gases and solar hot water installation has been adjudicated and a letter of award for the solar water heater installation has been drafted,” Nangombe said last December.
Nangombe at that time had further said the ministry has requested for increase in the contract amount by approximately N$5.8 million to incorporate additional works for the theatre and neonatal unit as per the new standards of the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
New Era could not manage to get hold of Nangombe on the latest regarding the maternity before going to print.