WINDHOEK – Two young health professionals have opened a training institution which trains young people on how to provide mobile hospice care to individuals. Otilie Hatuikulipi who is a nurse by profession and Vista Angula, an emergency care practitioner, have coined their institution Tukwafeni Training Institute.
“Hospice care is aid rendered to individuals who cannot care for themselves when it comes to daily activities,” elaborated Hatuikulipi. She said it includes the elderly, bedridden and those who have been released from hospitals and are unable to take care of themselves.
Hatuikulipi said Tukwafeni means ‘ helping hand’ in Oshiwambo and came about when the duo saw the need to meet the government halfway in terms of service delivery. “Our mission with this project is to meet the government halfway with primary health care services. Education is the number one priority and we are using that as a tool,” accentuated Hatuikulipi.
The duo emphasised coming up with ways to keep the youth busy. “We want to encourage the youth to be active and for them to stay off the streets. We don’t want them to be sitting at home and engaging in unproductive activities,” stated Hatuikulipi. They want to create opportunities in the health sector for those interested in doing something with their lives and help the different communities in the process. “The health care services offered by the institute are training pertaining to first aid, caregivers training and mobile clinic services,” said Angula. He further explained the quality of training offered by the centre. “Our pieces of training are conducted by qualified health care professionals – these are nurses, emergency care practitioners such as myself,” stated Angula. He added that they also had medical doctors facilitating everything hence, they are affiliated to Hephata Old Age Home and Rehab Centre, Katutura Old Age Home and Ode Old Age Home where they send students for practical demonstrations and hands-on experience, emphasised Angula.
Because of the area of work, one has to have sheer passion and dedication in order to be a caregiver, they further stressed. “You don’t just wake up one day and deicide to be a nurse, you have to possess the drive, the will. You must love working with and caring for people,” cautioned Angula. He said they have had individuals who joined the institution because of the uniform. “To them, it looks nice and professional but that’s not that, it’s way more than that,” pointed out Angula.
The criteria for joining the centre is a minimum of 15 points in Grade 10 or 12 and a science background and an E in English. “We are trying to reach out to many prospective students by giving equal opportunities,” said Angula.
Under Tukwafeni Training Institute, Hatuikulipi and Angula are embarking on a campaign called “Operation Save A Life Namibia” in response to the high rate of accidents on the roads and the call by the health ministry for private sector involvement in public health education.
The operation is aimed at training the average Namibian with the skills of first aid. The campaign will be running countywide with the targeted group being truck drivers, taxi drivers, selected companies for free.
Tukwafeni Training Institute’s first aid is approved by Red Cross Namibia and the Ministry of Health and Social Services, and the certificate is valid for three years. “We have also officially kicked off with our Operation Save a Life Namibia and Fit-City gym staff and trainers were the first on our list to be trained in First Aid Level B. Operation Save a Life Namibia is in full swing now and we don’t want anyone to be left out,” concluded Angula.