Health takes one more breath

The health ministry has reached out to Afrox Namibia for increased oxygen supplies to nurse the ailing situation in the country.

07 June 2021 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES







WINDHOEK

The health ministry has reached out to Afrox Namibia for increased oxygen supplies to nurse the ailing situation in the country.

This after Intaka Technology Namibia, owned by controversial businessman Knowledge Katti, experienced capacity problems.

According to health ministry executive director Ben Nangombe, they have a long-standing agreement with Afrox and other oxygen suppliers.

“We have increased admissions and there is increased demand. The gas generating systems have capacity to produce a certain litre of oxygen per minute. With the increased admissions, we are drawing more than the infrastructure can produce. So, we needed to supplement that. We also have a gas bank and we replenish it in order to supplement, but there are certain parts which are not linked to the existing infrastructure and are supplied with gas bottles,” he said.

‘Gas chambers’

Meanwhile, a source within the ministry said the situation at the respiratory unit is worrisome, with more people dying there than leaving it alive.

The source said the ministry only has trainee staff in the unit, with the exception of one senior doctor.

“These doctors are from Russia, Ukraine and China and they don’t know what to do. When people go in there, you can be sure they will leave in a body bag. It is so sad, sometimes you speak to a person who is in good spirits and then you hear they have died minutes later. In one night, we have had more than five people dying - people who were not critically ill,” the source said.

According to them, the respiratory unit has now been dubbed the ‘gas chambers’ because people die without proper explanation.

“It is not an oxygen problem, but the lack of case management because the staff are overworked or inexperienced. There is also a feeling that the trainee doctors do not know how to handle these ventilators properly and damage the patients. We have 20 people on ventilators on a given day,” the source said.

Healthcare workers burnt out

Head of the ministry’s Covid-19 programme Petronella Masabane said the Katutura Intermediate Hospital’s respiratory unit is one of Namibia’s referral respiratory units and currently has a bed capacity of 74.

According to her, the unit is run by qualified, registered and experienced nurses and medical officers who are not trainee doctors with specialist supervision.

“The notion that these doctors do not know how to manage severely or critically ill patients is wrong. The current epidemiological trajectory has illustrated that more and more people who are infected with Covid-19 are getting seriously ill, being hospitalised on oxygen therapy and even being mechanically ventilated. The increase in positive Covid-19 cases, and specifically hospitalisations, has exerted a considerable amount of pressure on our health systems.

She said the unit remains understaffed and that medical personnel have been working longer hours to make sure patients receive appropriate care. This, in turn, has left many healthcare workers burnt out.

“To remedy the situation, the ministry has recruited more nurses, in addition to re-deploying nurses and medical officers from elsewhere to the respiratory unit,” she said.

Attempts to get hold of Eckhardt Vorster, the managing director of Afrox Namibia, were unsuccessful.

[email protected]

Similar News

 

Swakop hotel hosts vaccination point

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Health

IRENE-MARI VAN DER WALT SWAKOPMUNDHotel Zum Kaiser in Swakopmund’s central business district (CBD) now accommodates a vaccination point in its conferencing facility.The...

AB InBev Namibia drives vaccination uptake through information campaign

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Health

Anheuser-Busch InBev Namibia Breweries (AB InBev Namibia), a proud member of the world’s largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, hosted vaccine information sessions in order to answer...

Another vaccination site for Walvis

2 days ago - 29 July 2021 | Health

LEANDREA LOUW WALVIS BAYWalvis Bay now boasts another permanent Covid-19 vaccination site at the Narraville Lutheran church hall.The site was officially opened...

Children using e-cigarettes more likely to smoke

2 days ago - 29 July 2021 | Health

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than eight million people a year...

Covid: Come to work even if infected, ministry says

3 days ago - 28 July 2021 | Health

TUYEIMO HAIDULA OSHAKATIThe health ministry has ordered its staff members in the north to...

AstraZeneca keeps eluding Namibia

3 days ago - 28 July 2021 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKGovernment has expressed serious concern with the perpetual delays of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine delivery, which has now put the...

Khomas aims to vaccinate 286 641 by March 2022

3 days ago - 28 July 2021 | Health

NAMPAWINDHOEKKhomas governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua says the region has so far vaccinated 57 897 people and plans to vaccinate at least 286 641 by March next...

We are our brothers’ keepers – Howard-Smith

3 days ago - 28 July 2021 | Health

STAFF REPORTERSWAKOPMUNDErongo regional council chairperson Ciske Howard-Smith has declared the costs attached to the 15-bed Covid-19 care facility set up by her Covid Task Force.This...

Breathe Namibia continues lifesaving campaign

4 days ago - 27 July 2021 | Health

During the second week of the Breathe Namibia campaign, Oxygenators were delivered to first responders and to COVID-19 community support projects in Windhoek, Kamanjab, Grootfontein,...

Eating disorder behaviors modulate the brain's dopamine-related reward circuit...

4 days ago - 27 July 2021 | Health

Researchers have found that eating disorder behaviors, such as binge-eating, alter the brain's reward response process and food intake control circuitry, which can reinforce these...

Latest News

On the brink of burnout?...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Business

Selma Shilunga 1. Talking about your feelings is importantWe often keep our true feelings bottled up, saying “I’m fine”, even when we’re really not....

Kristofine Itembu proves that the...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Business

Rivaldo KavangaHailing from Onankali village in the Oshikoto Region and raised in the dusty streets of Soweto in Katutura, the career-driven Kristofine Itembu remains humble...

Pensioner loses N$50k to scammers...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Crime

TUYEIMO HAIDULA OSHAKATI A 60-year-old retired teacher lost N$50 000 to scammers who pretended to be police officers on Monday...

Ex-general implicated in Ekandjo’s missing...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Justice

Kenya Kambowe RUNDUFormer minister Jerry Ekandjo’s name has surfaced in court as one of the possible victims in a stock theft case in which former...

South Africa plans billions in...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Economics

ALEXANDER WINNING AND WENDELL ROELFSouth Africa plans about R36 billion of relief measures to support businesses and individuals affected by unrest this month and by...

The man who works fast...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Business

Sono Kahuure runs the network escalations department at Paratus Namibia and is the keyholder to unlocking solutions for his customers. Sono is the go-to man...

Taking sports development to the...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | People

Mariselle Stofberg Powerful play From growing up in the dusty streets of Okuryangava, Titus Mwahafa’s passion for sport and sports development has driven him...

“I imagined a better life...

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Business

Desiree GasesTST was founded in 2012 and is a full-service advertising and market research company combining qualitative and quantitative approaches to deliver rich, operational, and...

EDITORIAL: Fix Windhoek’s leadership mess

1 day - 30 July 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek is without political leadership. But that’s not the saddest part. The fact that, for a week, nothing concrete has been hammered out to restore...

Load More