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CONSISTENCY: Health minister, Kalumbi Shangula.
CONSISTENCY: Health minister, Kalumbi Shangula.

Ministry rejects naming hospitals after pioneers, politicians

Kenya Kambowe
The ministry of health has rejected the renaming of the Engela District Hospital after the late Dr Naftal Hamata, saying public health facilities will continue to be named after their localities instead of politicians and other personalities.

Namibian Sun can confirm that the name of former Ohangwena governor and philanthropist, Usko Nghaamwa, had also been considered for the hospital.

The ministry's executive director Ben Nangombe confirmed that hospitals will retain their current names based on where they are situated. His confirmation is contained in a letter dated 9 October 2023 to former Ohangwena health director John Hango.

Family’s wish denied

Hamata, who is believed to have been the second Omuwambo ever to qualify as a medical doctor – after Dr Tomas Ihuhwa – passed away in March 2013 at the age of 78.

Following his death, his family, through the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority, wrote to Hango with a suggestion to name Engela hospital after Hamata.

To this, Nangombe said: “The request was discussed by the steering committee on 9 August 2023. The steering committee fully appreciates the important role that the late Dr Naftal Hamata played in the health sector, both in public and private settings.”

He added, however, that “the steering committee could not find a way to recommend the renaming of Engela District Hospital. Several years ago, a similar request was made to rename the same hospital after another person. The said request was not supported. It is thus important to maintain consistency.”

Nangombe underlined that, to date, public health facilities are named primarily according to the localities where they are located.

Exceptional contribution

Hamata's family was unhappy with the response and appealed the decision in a letter dated 28 November 2023, which they addressed to health minister Kalumbi Shangula.

Djeimo Popyeinawa, the author of the letter and chairperson of the Honouring Dr Hamata Committee, requested a meeting with Shangula to discuss the matter.

Acknowledging the decision by the steering committee, Popyeinawa urged the minister to consider that "one size does not fit all; therefore, we firmly believe that Dr Hamata’s exceptional contributions to the health sector in both the public and private realms within our country and beyond merit special consideration.

“In light of this, we humbly request an opportunity for a meeting to discuss our appeal to revisit its earlier decision. We aim to understand the grounds behind the steering committee's decision. We believe that revisiting this request will honour Dr Hamata’s legacy and inspire future generations.”

Reportedly, three of the committee members met with Shangula on the matter; nevertheless, the ministry maintained its position.

Shangula told Namibian Sun on Sunday: "The family knows what our position is."

Decorated doctor

As a pioneer doctor in Namibia, Hamata was a renowned gynaecologist.

He served as a health director for the Oshana Region and as a special advisor to the health minister.

In 2004, Hamata was awarded a national medal for his contributions to the struggle for Namibia’s independence.

At his funeral, late president Hage Geingob described Hamata as a "dedicated doctor who devoted his time and energy to assisting those in need."

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Namibian Sun 2024-06-25

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Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 324.36/OZ DOWN -0.0028 | Copper US$ 4.38/lb DOWN -0.0079 | Zinc US$ 2 882.40/T UP 1.01% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 85.87/BBP DOWN -0.0018 | Platinum US$ 985.32/OZ DOWN -0.011 Sport results: Weather: Katima Mulilo: 9° | 26° Rundu: 11° | 26° Eenhana: 13° | 28° Oshakati: 12° | 28° Ruacana: 11° | 28° Tsumeb: 12° | 24° Otjiwarongo: 8° | 22° Omaruru: 11° | 24° Windhoek: 7° | 19° Gobabis: 7° | 20° Henties Bay: 16° | 32° Wind speed: 37km/h, Wind direction: E, Low tide: 11:35, High tide: 05:37, Low Tide: 00:11, High tide: 18:10 Swakopmund: 19° | 25° Wind speed: 40km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 11:33, High tide: 05:35, Low Tide: 00:09, High tide: 18:08 Walvis Bay: 21° | 31° Wind speed: 36km/h, Wind direction: SE, Low tide: 11:33, High tide: 05:34, Low Tide: 00:09, High tide: 18:07 Rehoboth: 6° | 21° Mariental: 9° | 22° Keetmanshoop: 11° | 22° Aranos: 8° | 22° Lüderitz: 21° | 32° Ariamsvlei: 11° | 24° Oranjemund: 13° | 29° Luanda: 21° | 23° Gaborone: 10° | 22° Lubumbashi: 9° | 25° Mbabane: 10° | 18° Maseru: 4° | 17° Antananarivo: 11° | 20° Lilongwe: 14° | 24° Maputo: 16° | 24° Windhoek: 7° | 19° Cape Town: 12° | 18° Durban: 16° | 22° Johannesburg: 9° | 17° Dar es Salaam: 21° | 30° Lusaka: 12° | 23° Harare: 11° | 18° Economic Indicators: Currency: GBP to NAD 23.02 | EUR to NAD 19.47 | CNY to NAD 2.51 | USD to NAD 18.24 | DZD to NAD 0.13 | AOA to NAD 0.02 | BWP to NAD 1.3 | EGP to NAD 0.37 | KES to NAD 0.14 | NGN to NAD 0.01 | ZMW to NAD 0.7 | ZWL to NAD 0.04 | BRL to NAD 3.35 | RUB to NAD 0.21 | INR to NAD 0.22 | USD to DZD 134.49 | USD to AOA 853.63 | USD to BWP 13.53 | USD to EGP 48.33 | USD to KES 127.98 | USD to NGN 1479.51 | USD to ZAR 18.23 | USD to ZMW 25.65 | USD to ZWL 321 | Stock Exchange: JSE All Share Index Same 0 | Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) Overall Index 1785.89 Up +0.14% | Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) MASI 13125.47 Down -0.12% | Egyptian Exchange (EGX) 30 Index 26902.4 Down -0.59% | Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) DCI 9281.23 Same 0 | NSX: MTC 7.75 SAME | Anirep 8.99 SAME | Capricorn Investment group 17.34 SAME | FirstRand Namibia Ltd 49 DOWN 0.50% | Letshego Holdings (Namibia) Ltd 4.1 UP 2.50% | Namibia Asset Management Ltd 0.7 SAME | Namibia Breweries Ltd 31.49 UP 0.03% | Nictus Holdings - Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 324.36/OZ DOWN -0.0028 | Copper US$ 4.38/lb DOWN -0.0079 | Zinc US$ 2 882.40/T UP 1.01% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 85.87/BBP DOWN -0.0018 | Platinum US$ 985.32/OZ DOWN -0.011